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The Race for Iran


The 2012 U.S. presidential election campaign kicked off in earnest this week, as President Obama formally launched his re-election bid and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney sealed his claim to the Republican nomination.  Barring unforeseen events, the next significant milestone in the campaign between now and the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer will be Romney’s selection of a running mate.  In this context, we are pleased that the neoconservative foreign policy crowd has reached out once again to highlight our work. 

More specifically, neocon pundit Bret Stephens used his most recent column in The Wall Street Journal to argue why presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should not select Condoleeza Rice for his running mate, see here.  Stephens acknowledges that the political positives of such a move are considerable.  Some analysts, citing recent poll data, even argue that Romney’s choice of Rice would be a “game changer” for the election, see here.  But, Stephens writes, “There’s only one problem.  Ms. Rice was a bad national security adviser and a bad secretary of state.”  (Having watched her up close, we certainly agree that Ms. Rice was a bad national security adviser and a bad Secretary of State, though we adduce some different reasons for that assessment than Mr. Stephens does.) 

To make his case, Stephens reviews a litany of decisions and actions by Rice during her service in the George W. Bush Administration.  Among them, “She hired Flynt Leverett for a top job at NSC; he’s since gone on to become the Beltway’s go-to apologist for Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” 

Before commenting on the “Rice factor” in the 2012 campaign, we would note that Stephens’ line of attack is symptomatic of America’s intellectually bankrupt foreign policy debate.  When neoconservatives like Stephens (or their fellow travelers like Dennis Ross) want to criticize our work on Iran, Syria, or other high-profile Middle East issues, they don’t challenge us on the merits of our analysis—because they can’t.  Instead, they go after us for being “apologists” for some Middle Eastern leader that they have already caricatured as  despicable (therefore making it impossible for the United States to have anything but a neoconservative foreign policy toward that leader’s country). 

On this point, we would simply reiterate what we wrote last year in response to The New Republic’s characterization of us as apologists for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

“We are proud of having been virtually the only Western-based Iran analysts who were right about the 2009 Iranian presidential election and how Mousavi’s fact-free challenge to the outcome and the Green movement that rose out of it would both fizzle out.  We are proud of our commentary on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a politician and President.  We fully agree that “apologetics is not analysis”; we have not been and never will be apologists for anyone.  Our analysis led us to the conclusion that Ahmadinejad is a talented but polarizing political figure who built up significant reservoirs of popular support in Iran…We would be apologists only if we refrained from publishing our conclusions when they might violate the parameters for “acceptable” discourse about the Middle East established by the likes of The New Republic’s publishers and editors.” 

We are proud, in the same way, of our work on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy and U.S.-Iranian relations, and Syrian politics and foreign policy under President Bashar al-Assad, and a broad range of other international issues.  We are certainly not going to retreat from our political analysis in the face of ad-hominem attacks from the likes of Mr. Stephens, who, at least from the time of the Iraq war, has not gotten anything right about the Middle East and has advocated policies (such as the Iraq war) that have been strategic and moral travesties for the United States. 

While we agree with Stephens that Rice mismanaged the run-up to America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, we part company with him to argue that the bigger problem was her support for the invasion in the first place.  She herself lied to the American public and the rest of the world—as Stephens and his cohorts do today regarding Iran—in advocating America’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq with her famous warning not to let the next “smoking gun” be a “mushroom cloud.”  She did not just mismanage the Iraq occupation; she—like Stephens and every other neoconservative, liberal internationalist, and ideologically muddled hawk—was heedless of the strategic consequences of such an occupation for the United States.  

The real tragedy is that, if Rice becomes Romney’s running mate, the only voices that will criticize her tenure in government will come from neoconservative quarters.  The Obama administration will treat her public record with kid gloves—notwithstanding candidate Obama’s 2008 pledge not just to end the war in Iraq but to end the “mindset” that produced such a colossally bad choice in the first place.  Far from changing this mindset, Obama and his team have internalized it as their own. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 



  1. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    The improvement of relations with EU will be this: the possibility of transactional trade.

    EU must be considered an enemy of Iran, just like US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other states.

    Good relations with EU are not possible; certainly not within the next 20 years.

    Relationship of Iran with EU can never go back to status quo ante of 2002.

    That world is dead.

  2. James Canning says:


    Here’s a comment by Mort Zuckerman, the Jewish billionaire pal of Bibi Netanyahu, dated May 11, 2009 (in HuffintonPost): “Hamas, the instigator of the recent Gaza war. . . is funded, trained, and armed by Iran to conduct terrorist attacks against Israel and to sabotage any dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

  3. James Canning says:


    Iran under the Shah threw its weight around, even more than the neocons claim obtains today.

    An independent Iran is not a problem needing a “solution”. Unless the viewpoint belongs to Aipac and other “Israel firsters”.

  4. James Canning says:


    Obama should have pulled all US troops out of Iraq a year or more before he actually did. And the US still has a grotesquely large “embassy” in Baghdad.

    But I very much agree the US should reduce the size of its military presence in the Persian Gulf.

  5. James Canning says:


    Lady Ashton clearly indicates a desire for a dipolomatic resolution of the dispute, and for a subsequent improvement in the relations of the EU with Iran.

    Your instinct is to sulk and to nurse grievances.

  6. fyi says:

    Castellio says: May 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Never underestimate the importance of a positive view of the future.

    That is how products and services are sold in business world; that is how policies are adopted in the political world.

    US-EU have no credible positive vision of the future for the people of the Middle East.

    Just War & Confrontation.

  7. fyi says:


    Ambassador Jenkins:


    My prognosis is confirmed; more than 2 generations for normalization.

  8. fyi says:


    In latest analysis of Conventional Armed Forces in the Gulf 4/14/12 Page 150 by Dr. Cordesman we read:

    “On December 16th, Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, is reported to have said that the US could revert to a pre-1990 posture in the Gulf, and there was no real need to either deal with Iran or change the US strategic and military posture in the region. He is said to have explained that, “the scaling back of the US military presence in the Gulf was part of the administration’s strategy to “demilitarize” US foreign policy and shift to an approach that favored counter-terrorism tactics.

    Rhodes also said the end of the war in Iraq – and eventually the war in Afghanistan – proved that large military deployments are not necessary to deny terrorists safe haven in foreign countries.”

    “I don’t think we’re looking to reallocate our military footprint in any significant way from Iraq. They won’t be reallocated to other countries in the region in any substantial numbers … The argument several years ago… was that you needed to have a very large US military footprint so that you could fight the terrorists ‘over there,’ so they wouldn’t come here. But we’ve demonstrated the opposite, that you don’t need to have a large US military footprint in these countries, that you can shrink them and focus on al Qaeda in a far more specific way… and still very much accomplish your national security goals….
    “That allows us in many respects to demilitarize elements of our foreign policy and establish more normal relationships…That’s our posture in the region and its far more in line with where we were before 1990.”

    …President Obama has kept a core promise of his to the American people. He opposed the war in Iraq as a candidate for Senate in 2002, before it started. He put forward a plan to end the war as a senator and promised to end the war as a candidate. And now we can definitively say he has kept that promise as president…America is safer and stronger because of the way we ended the war in Iraq.”

    The entire report may be accessed at: http://csis.org/files/publication/120518_Gulf_Military_Balance_2012.pdf

  9. fyi says:

    Interested says: May 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Yes, just like this Norwegian reporter last year talking to Mr. Shariatmadari – asking him: “How do you feel about the spread of poverty in your country due to sanctions?”

    To which Mr. Shariatmadari replied obliquely by soliciting his opinion about Tehran traffic.

    That is why normalization with EU, let alone US, will not be in the cards for one or perhaps 2 generations.

    War – even economic war – has its consequenes.

    As the overthrow of the late Dr. Mossadeq’s nationalist liberal government has had its ramifications for 3 generations.

  10. Interested says:

    This is what Dr. Saeed Jalili said in a speech the other day…

  11. Interested says:

    من یادم نمی رود در گفتگوهای ژنو2 ما بحثی مطرح کردیم تحت این عنوان که ما مقاصدمان صلح آمیز است، انرژی هسته ای صلح آمیز را حق خودمان می دانیم و از این حق کوتاه نمی آییم. در آنجا تاکید کردیم بحث توقف و تعلیق را نمی پذیریم، آنچه در نطنز در حال انجام است غنی سازی برای مصارف صلح آمیز برای استفاده در نیروگاه است. راکتور تهران به سوخت 20 درصد نیاز داشت که این هم جزو مصارف صلح آمیز است. این هم مصداقی دیگر از استفاده صلح آمیز انرژی هسته ای بود. 850 هزار بیمار از محصولات راکتور تحقیقاتی تهران استفاده می کردند و یک نیاز ابتدایی بود که ما سوخت 20 درصد داشته باشیم چون تا آن زمان سوخت ما فقط 5/3 درصد بود. در گفت وگوها اعلام کردیم که سوخت 20 درصد بر اساس مقررات آژانس و ان.پی.تی حق ما است و اگر شما این را تسهیل می کنید و در اختیار ما قرار می دهید که باید این کار را بکنید، ما آماده هستیم این را بخریم. آنها با توجه به نیازی که کشور دارد (850 هزار بیماری که نیاز به محصولات راکتور دارند) یک موضوعی پیدا کردند برای اینکه از آن به عنوان یک اهرم فشار علیه ملت ما استفاده کنند. طبق اساسنامه آژانس وظیفه داشتند این را تسهیل کنند و در اختیار ما قرار بدهند؛ ولی بازی درآوردند و گفتند نه ما نمی توانیم بفروشیم و مثلاً حاضریم تبادل کنیم. در بحث تبادل هم آن سیری که طی شد و آن بیانیه تهران و بازی هایی که در آوردند، نشان دادند که آنها با پیشرفت ملت ایران مخالف هستند. سوخت 20 درصد برای راکتور تحقیقاتی که مصارف تحقیقاتی و دارویی دارد، تحریم در آن چه معنایی دارد؟ عرضم این است که این بحث را مطرح کردند که ما این سوخت را نمی دهیم و آن شرایط مختلف را بیان کردند که خوب ما هیچ کدام را نپذیرفتیم. و آنجا ما یک بحثی را مطرح کردیم که اگر شما این سوخت را در اختیار ما نگذارید ما خودمان تولید می کنیم. من فراموش نمی کنم لبخندی که برخی از این اعضاء در آن جلسه زدند. معنی اش این بود که خوب بروید تهیه کنید اگر می توانید و این کار راحتی نیست و خوب درست هم بود.

  12. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    There never was a “solution” to the Iran poblem of US & EU – military or otherwise.

    A new strategically independt state (with its attendant allies) has risen in the Middle East.

    The first one in more than 100 years.

    Pragmatically, accomodation is the only alternative that Axis Powers have.

  13. James Canning says:


    CIA blocked idiot warmongers in their tracks. Neocons still rant about the 2007 NIE on Iran.

  14. James Canning says:


    There is no military solution, and the CIA blocked idiot neocon warmongers who wanted to attack Iran to benefit Israel.

  15. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Karl says:
    May 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Even Bush realized this.

  16. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Once again illustrating the reasons US sanctions on Iran will fail.

    Taiwan crude imports from Iran surge to 15-month high

    “Taiwan’s March crude purchases from Iran rose to three times the 31,935 barrels a day it bought in January and the 30,247-barrel average in 2011.”


    No signs yet that Iran is having any trouble selling its full output, despite Western wishful thinking to the contrary.

  17. Karl says:


    There is no military solution, if it were, US would have attacked long time ago.

  18. James Canning says:


    Any attempt to occupy Iran would be virtually certain to fail. But it would be quite wrong to think Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities could not be destroyed. Sensible negotiations are obviously the way forward.

  19. Karl says:


    That is included in my point.
    Of course US liquidate any leader in the world, thats not the point, but how to handle the rest – is through occupation. Therefore there is no military plan.

  20. James Canning says:


    George W. Bush did not need to have the US occupy Iraq, in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The US should have pulled out of Iraq in 2003-04. But the moron in the White House allowed the Sunni power structure to be destroyed, after the overthrow of Saddam.

  21. James Canning says:


    Aipac and other interest groups of course favor “regime change” in Iran. Aipac wants Jews in Israel and the West Bank to feel free to oppress non-Jews. This programme dictates fostering hatred of the government of Iran.

  22. Karl says:


    That was my point to your 1:08 message.

  23. James Canning says:


    Only an idiot would advise an attempt to occupy Iran. The moron in the White House prior to Obama demonstrated the idiocy of occupying Iraq.

  24. James Canning says:

    M J Rosenberg on how the ISRAEL LOBBY screws the American people (“Increasing Israel Aid, Cutting Everything Else”):


  25. Karl says:

    James – 1:08,

    Could you name 1 top general proposing of a occupation of Iran?

    We must reject the idea that some states are military strong to such degrees that any problem could be dealt with military. Didnt you learnt from the the decade long debacles of Afghanistan and Iraq? The notion that US and Israel still think they could use war for every problem is the reason we are here today.

  26. fyi says:


    Regime change remains the goal among some factions in US (and elsewhere)


  27. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    You finally have grasped one aspect of the strategic situation.

  28. James Canning says:


    Your 2.40 pm comment is that there is no power available to disarm an Iran arrmed with nukes?

    I take it you argue that if the government of Iran decides to build nukes, no country could prevent this from taking place?

  29. fyi says:

    Neo says: May 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    The ironic thing is that EU states, whose polities massacared Jews, have become their Chamipons while those polities in which Jews were not harmed have become their enemies.

    And I am not even including Russia, the Savior of Jews in Europe.

  30. Rehmat says:

    The powerful American Israel lobby group, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in its May 15 statement has called Greek voters not vote for the Golden Dawn party. Why? Because its leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, in a televised interview on Sunday denied the holy Holocaust.

    “With the announcement of the necessity for a new round of elections, the Greek people should be fully aware that a vote for Golden Dawn is a vote for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The voters, who gave this extremist party 7 percent in the first round — perhaps in part as a protest vote — should examine their conscience and realize they voted for the party of ‘What Auschwitz?’”says the statement.

    The successive Greek governments have been pro-Israel as part of their hatred toward Turkey. However, the majority of Greek don’t like Israel and Jewish elites. They claim that Jewish bankers are behind the collapse of Greece economy.

    Last year, American Jewish Committee (AJC) objected to LAOS party’s inclusion in the unity government. AJC claimed that its leader Georgios Karatzaferis is a Jew hater because he believes that Israelis were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks .

    Just imagine how Jewish lobby groups would have reacted had Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood issued such statemet for the Israeli voters!


  31. Neo says:

    fyi says: May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm


    I’m wondering what James’ answer might be. I hope this too (who is allowed and not) is not explained away as AIPAC’s doing. Nuclear proliferators often seem to hide behind Israel. The jewish people used as some kind of a buffer zone? The situation is ironic, to say the least. A real good cop, bad cop act. Bad acting though. No sighted observer would take it seriously.

  32. James Canning says:


    More sophisticated thinking is needed. And we do not want Obama to lose the White House, and have a moron like Mitt Romney get in. Foreign policy moron, and stooge of the neocons and Bibi Netanyahu.

  33. James Canning says:


    Are you actually claiming Germany’s economy is not performing well? FYI seems to think it is near collapse.

  34. James Canning says:


    Mort Zuckerman is close friend of Bibi Netanyahu and tries to bamboozle people into believing Iran wants to dominate the Muslim world. What utter crap.

  35. James Canning says:

    M J Rosenberg witnessed how Aipac took out Senator Charles Percy of Illinois, who was one of the very best and most sensible Republican senators. Doug Feith likes to boast about this contemptible episode in American political history.

    Percy at one time lived in Madison Park (Seattle), not far from where Obama visited recently.

  36. James Canning says:

    M J Rosenberg on how Aipac controls the US Congress and subverts American national security:


  37. Fiorangela says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    In two recent appearance that were filmed by C Span, Nicholas Burns declared that “Iran is an enemy to the US;” “Iran is the most pressing problem US must confront.” He may have gone so far as to say Iran is the biggest problem the world has to deal with.

    His second talk was on the future of NATO. He stated that Australia should be invited to ‘participate’ with NATO, and indeed Australia does send fighters to U.S. wars (shortly after Australia joined U.S. “coalition of the willing” in Iraq, more and more Australian wines appeared in U.S. shops).

    Burns said the critical countries to involve in NATO alliance are Russia and China, with China being of lesser importance. The reason Russia is so important is because Russia is needed to present a solid front against Iran. China has too many commercial interests in Iran to completely break with Iran and join the U.S. anti-Iran team.

    Program #1. Iran’s Nuclear Program, panel moderated by Morton Zuckerman; panelists Michael Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Steven Rademaker, Nicholas Burns.

    Program #2. Future of NATO; Nicholas Burns discusses his recently released report on NATO at an Atlantic Council event.

    All these talking heads have one thing in common: the quest to remain relevant, meaning, employable by the ‘consulting groups’ that sign their paychecks. Burns works with a consultancy created by Bill Clinton’s formed Defense Secretary, William Cohen.
    This is to say, their thinking and rhetoric is predictable; it is calculated to please the powers that be, not to create a better world or even to realize the best interests of the United States based on U.S. ideals/fantasized founding values. the banality of evil.

  38. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    May 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    “Germany. Economy performing well.”

    Gav James

    There is this Old Persian proverb that says “Sound of kmancheh I am playing will come out in the morning”

    For your honor to know what this means, you will need to know what the Kamancheh is, Kamancheh is a string based Persian musical instrument which is played similar to a cello but it’s smaller like a violin.

    The story is: When in the middle of night, bazar’s shop patrol sees someone hacksawing a lock on a shops door; he goes forward and asks that person: what are you doing? Intruder replies I am playing Kamancheh, the security guard asks: What kind of Kamancheh you play which has no sound? The man replies, “Sound of kmancheh I am playing will come out in the morning”

  39. Castellio says:

    James writes: “I think you (FYI) are mistaken to believe the US-EU position is to “back the fantasy Israel project to the hilt”. Most EU countries want Israel out of the West Bank. So does Obama, but he cannot say so and keep his tenure of the White House.”

    If the President of the US cannot say that Israel should get out of the west bank and keep his job, then it is certainly correct of FYI to state that the US position is to “back the fantasy Israel project to the hilt”.

  40. k_w says:

    @James: “Germany. Economy performing well.”

    Low wages or subsidised wages, part-time jobs and child poverty, that is the price of the so-called good economic performance of Germany.

  41. Karl says:


    ….which is of course what they say about all conflicts. Even Israel say they wish for a diplomatic solution. What do you expect americans to say? “We wish for a war”?

  42. James Canning says:

    Leader in The Times (London) May 9th: “To say that Israel is in need of new thinking and imaginative leadership is to understate almost comically the predicament the country faces.”

  43. James Canning says:

    fyi, Karl

    Comment was directed to FYI, but it was meant for Karl.

  44. James Canning says:


    Hillary Clinton stressed the wish of the P5+1 to resolve the dispute via negotiations. This is surely a good thing for her to say.

  45. James Canning says:


    Germany. Economy performing well.

  46. Karl says:


    Hopelessly biased attitude by warmongering clinton. If she cant offer any deal to Iran there is no point in these alleged talks, its just a bluff to lower oil price and to deal with Iran because Israel threat to attack the same state (US doesnt want that but it cant tell its “allied” not to attack instead they approve israeli warmongering, giving it more aid and money…what a sickening relationship!).
    I dont see any willingness to act in good faith by US at all. Now we are just witness alot of demands put on Iran.
    Step by step approach is good, but the sanctions must be reduced from the beginning, if not, its the “salami cut”.

    I also find this stance below pathetic.

    “Every participant in the diplomatic process could benefit from its extension, in part to lower the probability of an Israeli offensive against Iranian atomic facilities in advance of the U.S. presidential campaign’s conclusion later this year,”

    Its like the west approach Israel on their knees, knowing Israel could strike, knowing that this is not in wests interest but still they accept it as a fact that cant be stopped and marching right to war, just like Israel wants.

  47. James Canning says:


    Fermany’s economy is performing well. Surely this is not a bad thing from Iran’s point of view.

  48. James Canning says:


    Aipac wants to prevent good relations between Iran and the US, and Iran and the EU. Most senators and congressmen are afraid not to do Aipac’s bidding. This is the core problem of American politics.

  49. fyi says:


    Some agreemen among P5+1 is reached and likely with Iran.

    Leave it to Americans to drag this on in the form of a process for as long as it takes.


    Mr. BiBiJon: The US-EU Financial Collapse in 2011 enormously helped Iran; it was akin to the dissolution of USSR in 1991.

    Peace is still decades into the future.

  50. BiBiJon says:

    Preceding was meant for fyi

  51. BiBiJon says:

    (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned on Thursday that military action against sovereign states could lead to a regional nuclear war, starkly voicing Moscow’s opposition to Western intervention ahead of a G8 summit at which Syria and Iran will be discussed.


  52. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    P5+1 have reached an agreement as to what to offer Iran in Baghdad.

    It is no longer just Axis Powers game when you deal with the potential of a nuclear war.

    Damn them to Hell for bringing the world to this point.

  53. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Turkish governments, diplomats, and analysts are very very precise and correct in applying international instruments, treaties, and conventions.

    They will not condone or support loose interpretations of the relevant international regulations.

    Israel had no business being invited to NATO Summit when she had been in a diplomatic row with Turkey and had failed to give diplomatic satisfaction to Turkey.

  54. Karl says:

    Turkey reach out to Israel. As a way to please/bargain Turkey’s veto on israeli participation in nato summit? Nontheless, prove again Turkey say one thing, doing another.


  55. Karl says:

    If you want to achive good relations with someone, why push for more sanctions?
    All this show that US arent ready for talks.

    And israeli ministers are in america to get more dollars….


    Panetta – Level of security cooperation between U.S. and Israel has never been stronger

  56. kooshy says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    May 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Precisely I wanted to post a comment on that, but I guess this web site wouldn’t take my comment I suspect because of the SL’s name

  57. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    kooshy says:
    May 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    The only problem with that is the spy was convicted in August, long before the cable was released.

  58. fyi says:

    Neo says: May 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    There is no logic in Mr. Cannings assertion.

    He still thinks that the power to undo a nuclear-armed Iran exists in the international arena.

    It does not and that was known since at elast 2002 if not earlier.

  59. Neo says:


    Who is saying that Iran is not allowed? Based on what logic?

  60. James Canning says:


    Pat Robertson is a charlatan. But tens of millions of typcially very ignorant Americans are very easily duped and played by charlatans.

  61. Rehmat says:

    The Zionist-controlled mainstream media will never tell you that the 65 million pro-Israel Evangelists are in fact worse than Afghan Taliban when it comes to the distortion of their religious scriptures.

    Recently, one of America’s top Evangelic religious leaders, pastor Pat Robertson was asked on air by a concerned Christian named “Jenny” about a moral quandary she had relating to her roommate’s “Buddha statue”.

    “My friend who is a Christian has a Buddha statue next to her Christian ones. Is this ok?”, asked Jenny.

    “No its not. Take it away and break it. Break it! Destroy it,” replied Robertson. Watch video below.

    In other words – Christian statues are OK but not Buddhist ones!

    Last year, the Islamophobe bigot had advised one of his listerners to divorce his terminal sick wife.


  62. James Canning says:


    Much of the Israeli programme is hugely enriching to certain Jews in the US and other countries, and it has very little to do with religion (apart from using religion to dupe ignorant American Evangelical Christians).

  63. James Canning says:


    I think you are mistaken to believe the US-EU position is to “back the fantasy Israel project to the hilt”. Most EU countries want Israel out of the West Bank. So does Obama, but he cannot say so and keep his tenure of the White House.

  64. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    US-EU position is to support the Jewish Fantasy (Religious) project to the hilt.

    Of course, now they have gotten their tails caught in a religious war the contours of which they can no longer control.

    They wish to settle that war but they cannot.

  65. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Jalili is quite right that mutual respect and cooperation is the way forward, in Baghdad and in months to come.

  66. James Canning says:


    James Woolsey had a joint opinion piece with Dagan in the Wall Street Journal today, advocating even more sanctions against Iran.

  67. James Canning says:


    What is the “US-EU position” you just referred to? Pressure Israel to get rid of its nukes? Pressure Israel to get out of the West Bank?

  68. James Canning says:


    Iran is not going to be a nuclear-armed state, because this would not be allowed. And it is Iran’s own position.

  69. James Canning says:


    A number of important countries see Iranian stockpiling of 20 percent uranium as an indicator of a wish to build nukes quickly, should Iran choose to do so.

  70. Neo says:

    If you agree that “Iran is not going to be a “nuclear-armed state”.”, and given that the NPT includes all kinds of enrichment for peaceful purposes, what is all the fuss about the 20% or 5% issue then?

  71. kooshy says:

    I think SL name is filtered and not allowed to be used in comments; do others have the same problem?


  72. Kathleen says:

    over at Huff Po
    Rand Paul Amendment Barring War With Iran, Syria Added To Sanctions Bill

    NEW YORK — The Senate is poised to consider updated legislation stepping up sanctions on Iran on Thursday, and due to persistence from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the bill will contain a provision making sure the measure is not used as an excuse to go to war with Iran or Syria.

    According to a Senate Democratic leadership aide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will ask for unanimous consent on Thursday to pass an updated version of the Johnson-Shelby Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012. The measure would go after Iran’s mining, energy and shipping sectors and penalize U.S. parent companies for the Iran-related activities of their foreign subsidiaries.

    The bill easily passed out of the Senate Banking Committee, but in March, when Reid tried to bring it up for unanimous consent, Paul blocked it in an effort to insert his amendment.

    Although nothing in the sanctions bill authorizes war with Iran, Paul didn’t want to take any chances. His amendment would make clear that nothing in the bill “shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of use of force against Iran or Syria.”

  73. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 17, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Israel is isolated on Iran – globally.

    They used to have US and EU in their back-pocket on Iran but lost that since their preferred policy – implemented and adopted by US and EU – was leading to war this past February-March time frame.

    At that point, a number of factions within EU and US decided that the dominant factions there had gone too far in their obdurate and uncreative Iran policy and revolted.

    From a geopolitical point of view, however, the harm was done to the US-EU position was significant and irrevocable.

    For the strategic prize was always the re-orientation of Iranian state towards US-EU position.

    That prize is no longer reachable; too much harm has been done to Iran by US and EU to make it possible.

    This consideration applies equally to India.

    Only transactional relationships are now possible for the next few decades.

  74. Karl says:

    Dagan propose total isolation, total blockade against Iran.

    World is in need of a leader that could put the israeli reckless warmongering in place.

  75. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 17, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Mr. Talai could run as well.

    Not sure he will.

    Mr. Jalili has no chance of winning.

  76. Fiorangela says:


  77. Unknown Unknowns says:

    The 14:00 news just reported on a conference being held in Tehran today in which Jalili warned his 5+1 counterparts not to mistake the reality of the situation, that the only thing to talk about in Baghdad, if anything, are matters of cooperation, and that they would be mistaken if they believe “the time for dialogue is over” (meaning that the next step is war, that lose-lose paradigm), and that the reality is that the time of the “strategy of threats” is what is actually over. IN other word (my take), their ace in the hole (oil and central bank sanctions) turned out to be a deuce, a dud, and if they want to put aside the rhetoric of threats (which were ineffective from the start anyway) and talk as co-equals, we are all for it. If not they should just shut up and start the war, as we are as ready as we have ever been. Bring it on, you weaseling chickenhawks. Meanwhile, our yawn-o-meters will be on full display in Baghdad, the city you tried to conquer but were ingloriously booted out of.

    Other than Ali Larijani, who as per usual will be an also-ran, and Qalibaaf, who will be a serious contender, Jalili’s name is being bandied about as his serious rival for next year’s presidential race.

  78. kooshy says:


  79. Rehmat says:

    On May 10, the BBC releaded the results of its annual Global survey of world nations and how their influence is viewed by 24,090 participants from 27 nations. The participants were asked to rate the influence of each of 16 nations and the EU as “mostly positive” or “mostly negative”.

    According to the survey – Germany received top positive views followed by Britain, Japan and Canada – while Iran received the highest negative views (55%, improved from last years’ 59%), followed by Pakistan (51%), North Korea (50%) and Israel (50%, up from 40% in 2010).


  80. James Canning says:

    Scott McConnell helps to explain how Aipac controls the US Congress, in “Greasing the skids to war”


    Support Aipac militarism, or lose your seat in the House of Representatives.

  81. James Canning says:


    Trita Parsi says appointment of Fabius is a blow to the neocon warmongers and it should make it easier to have sensible policy toward Iran.

  82. James Canning says:

    Robert Gates told Charlie Rose (PBS TV): “The only good option is putting enough pressure on the Iranian government that they make the decision for themnselves that continuing to seek nuclear weapons is actually harming the security of the country…”

    I assume Gates was not asked why Obama did not respond to Iran’s offer to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent.

  83. kooshy says:

    Two Iranian engineers abducted in Syria released

    “Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has announced that two of the Iranian engineers abducted in Syria have been released and will soon return to Iran.”


    One wonders what’s the current “exchange” rate, between Iran and Turkey, I am sure by now Mr. Erdogan has learned

  84. Karl says:

    REFILE-UN atom talks with Iran may show progress-diplomats

  85. Karl says:


    Googling the that foreing minister, he does indeed seems to be another person with limited knowledge in region in whole and strategy. Pathetic that the first pledge they most do is to travel to Israel and pledge unlimited support for a rogue, occupying state that have hundreds of nukes. How is this in france interest to maintain?

  86. Cyrus_2 says:

    Hollande has oppointed Laurent Fabius as secretary of state.

    About two months ago, Hollande sent a special envoy on his behalf, former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, who met Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials and also visited Ramallah, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The main goal of Fabius’s visit was to ensure both Israel and the Palestinians that they had no reason to worry.

    Fabius, who is considered the leading candidate for the role of foreign minister in Hollande’s government, made it clear to Netanyahu that that he would continue Sarkozy’s aggressive line against Iran in the European Union.


    So, no change there.

  87. James Canning says:


    I agree with you that if Israel launches another insane attack on Lebanon, Tel Aviv will get hit with missiles. Let’s hope Israel is not so stupid.

    Independent Palestine, even with Jews living there, would still be Palestine and its territory would be “Palestinian”.

  88. hans says:

    @James Canning says:
    May 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the “More beautiful Promise” Ceremony

    Time is over when we were to leave or homes and they didn’t leave their houses which they built on usurped land. Time is over when we were to be displaced and they didn’t. Time is over when our houses are demolished and their houses remained intact. Time is over when we used to feel scared and they didn’t. I even say time is due when we will remain and they cease to exist.

  89. James Canning says:


    Brits (and Americans?) visiting Iran continue to receive a warm welcome, as I understand.

  90. James Canning says:


    The past several months were a good time for Americans or Brits to visit Egypt or Lebanon. Syria obviously is not the place right now.

  91. James Canning says:


    Forty years ago, I had an offer of two chauffered Mercedes, if I visited Afghanistan. I am sorry I did not take up the offer (before the overthrow of the monarchy).

  92. James Canning says:


    It probably would be a good thing if the days of bus trips to Nepal or Afghanistan, from London, return.

  93. James Canning says:


    Nato does not want a repeat of Israel’s insane smashing of Lebanon. Those “birth cries of a new Middle East” as the grossly incompetent Condoleezza Rice called it.

  94. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This is fortuitous for Iran as Axis States become more and more identified as enemies of Islam.

    You, Mr. Canning, as a consequence of that enmity, are not physically safe in much of the Muslim world except in the security bubbles created for Western people.

    The days of taking a bus trip from London to Katmandu are over.

  95. James Canning says:

    Excellent leader in the Financial Times today, calling upon the US and Russia to reduce their nukes by more than 80% over the next ten years.

  96. James Canning says:


    Netanyahu wants to continue to f**k the Palestinians, in his insane pursuit of a “Greater Israel”. This means attacking one country after another.

  97. James Canning says:


    Is the 5% issue “off the table”? For Iran to achieve acceptance of enrichment to 5% will be a very considerable success in the negotiations, not least because Obama will not want to admit he accepts Iranian enrichment to 5%.

  98. James Canning says:


    The world “can live with nuclear-armed states”. True. But Iran is not going to be a “nuclear-armed state”.

  99. hans says:

    Rd. says:
    May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am
    However, there’s a large domestic market, and the Iranians are manufacturing everything from scientific instruments to nanomaterials. When the political issues are solved, I think a few people will be surprised by the level of sophistication of Iranian nanoscience.

    Missle technology, that’s what Israel and NATO fear most! That’s why Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah can say with absolute certainity for every building that is destroyed in Beiruit a similiar building will be destroyed in Tel Aviv.

  100. James Canning says:

    Ray Takeyh, writing in today’s Financial Times (“Iran’s leader must choose between enmity and economy”), claims that “Ayatollah Khamenei is averse to concessions that would arrest Iran’s nuclear trajectory.” Takeyh does not mention, of course, Khamenei’s offer for Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. Wouldn’t fit Takeyh’s false narrative.

  101. khalij says:

    Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Iran, the impact on security

    Very small island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf is much smaller than 700 square kilometers less than city of Tehran. But it has a very important geopolitical importance. For this reason it has had high importance for countries (super powers) in past 50 years and it’s one of the main reason for differences between Iran and Great Britain and USA.

    In winter of 1359 (1979) in support of Saddam Hussein’s regime the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council was established during the imposed war against Iran. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in extensive cooperation with America supported Iraq’s efforts to attack ships headed to Iranian ports and Persian Gulf was unsafe water. For decades Bahrain has been a base for America’s Army and the Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters. America is based in Bahrain Salman Port.

    Since the separation of Bahrain from Iran, the government of the country’s tribal people and inhabitants of this island has had a conflict, Bahrain seeked to link with Saudi Arabia and America to use an iron fist on people of Bahrain. America and Saudi Arabia have supported the rulers in Bahrain in clashes with her people.

    Saudi Arabia has always considered Bahrain has its national security. And believes that any change in the governance structure of Bahrain can effect on the Kingdom of Saudi. It’s influence in determining the intensity and strength of will, henceforth Saudi’s are in full support of the Al Khalifa. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia within the past few years has built a huge bridge, to connect Saudi to Bahrain. This way of annex allowed Saudi’s to send his troops to the island.

    The Saudi’s now facing the people of Bahrain and the Saudi rulers are in agreement with America to prevent the establishment of democracy in Bahrain. America is supposed to have a democracy for the people of Bahrain, to the dismantling of America’s base in Bahrain will be forced to America and this will cause your other bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE as well as unsafe Sea, Persian Gulf, and finally an end to military occupation. America’s military withdrawal from the Persian Gulf to Iran would be a maritime lordship.

    The people of Bahrain have historical reasons to always want to have good relations with Iran. Imagine what happens if you crash because of grave concern to the Saudi Al-Khalifa in Manama, Bahrain in Saudi Arabia will not only unite the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council will be torn apart and Saudi Arabia will be back in competition with Iran.

    However, in a power struggle to dominate the Persian Gulf now that the global energy geopolitics is the most important area is continuing. America and Saudi Arabia is thought to result not only in Bahrain Uprising reach them will govern their own destiny, but also caused a wave of popular uprisings in the southern Persian Gulf countries, and this setup will be the king and regulatories Persian Gulf countries poured into the region of Persian Gulf oil and gas wells will be made dominant.

    So Saudi Arabia is planning to project the Persian Gulf states, Bahrain has acceded to the government to ensure continuity of government, Al-Khalifa. However the Bahrain-Saudi alliance to counter the changing balance of power and balance of power in the Persian Gulf monarchies and dictatorial regimes in the region for a way to protect and sustain America’s influence in the Persian Gulf.

  102. Rehmat says:

    “Israel is carrying on in a lunatic fashion. I would like to ask you. Name me another country in the world. 2003 Israel was the cheerleaders for the war in Iraq. 2006 it went into war in Lebanon. 2008/2009 it attacked Gaza. Now it talks about attacking Iran. If you read the Israeli papers every day they talk about – should we attack Gaza? Should we attack Lebanon? Should we attack Syria. Name me another country in the world that falls into that category. It’s a lunatic state,” Dr. Finkelstein said on BBC’s Hardtalk on May 8, 2012.


  103. Rd. says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    Look for the following in the next few years: …… , nanotechnology-related products,

    a review on nanotechnologies in Iran;

    “Iran is a different case, and it’s a place I have visited several times to discuss nanotechnologies. While the world may have some issues with the Iranian government, the scientists and business people I deal with are just like the rest of us. Iran has some great science going on, and the US embargo has meant that they have had to be quite ingenious to get access to even basic instrumentation such as electron microscopes. However, there’s a large domestic market, and the Iranians are manufacturing everything from scientific instruments to nanomaterials. When the political issues are solved, I think a few people will be surprised by the level of sophistication of Iranian nanoscience. [Note: For an example of what Tim is referring to, see the Fast Company article (Using 3-D Printers To Mock Up New Teeth) by Morgan Glendaniel, as it mentions the impact that Iranian scientists have had on this new nano-enabled technology.) “


    sample of technology;


  104. Unknown Unknowns says:

    IRIB headline: Turkey Suspects Bird of Being Zionist Spy.

    What the … ?

  105. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    I know what you mean. Iran has all the necessary [natural, human, intellectual, etc.] resources for a self-sustaining society for the next seven hundred years. Most suffer from two ailments though: کمی خون و گشادی ….ن [anemia and relaxed buttocks].

  106. Empty says:


    Yes. The approach and pressures applied on those nations are all predicated on one single tenet: “Iran is bound to collapse any time.” Every pressure costs the US real and tangible political, financial, and strategic currencies. Not to worry though. It will stop when it hits rock bottom. As for those nations, well, if they are not going to learn their lessons the easy way, I guess they just have to learn them the hard way.

  107. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I for one am hoping for the success of the Weasels’ supposed economic encirclement of Iran. for decades now, the Supreme Leader has been beseeching the various administrations from Hashemi Rafsanjani to Khatami to Akhmanimabob to reduce the Iranian economy’s dependence on oil. Akhmanimabob is the only one who even tried. Here’s a statistic for you: When Akhmanimabob took office, Iran’s non-oil export economy was at a pitiful annual rate of $6 billion. In other words, it took the other clowns 25 years to climb to such stellar heights. Akhmanimabob managed to export over $45 billion in ’90, and is projecting $60 billion in ’91. He also managed to reduce imports from something like $60+ billion to $48 billion (if memory serves), despite the import demands of a massive increase in population (30 million in ’78 to over 80 million and rising).

    Source is Press TV quoting Iranian customs statistics.

    Exports should not be at $60 billion; they should be at $600 billion, which is where they are headed. Products include, besides carpets and pistachios at the time of Ma’mad Damaq (SO leading edge): cement, electricity, PVC and steel pipe and other construction materials such as bricks, tiles and stone, fruit, flowers, electricity, minerals, engineering services, cars. Look for the following in the next few years: regular pharma and biotech medicine, nanotechnology-related products, telecom and electricity and oil and gas infra-structure engineering and plant, petro-chemicals (this one in particular will be massive, with several plants due to come online, including gas (or ‘petrol’ as the Gav would say), diesel, fertilizer, and the full spectrum of petro-chemical products such as roofing material, insulation, etc.), and not least, military materiel.

    Uncle Weasel: will you please, please, PLEASE continue your ‘humanitarian’ (your weasel words, not mine) mission and get my people off their lazy butts? I’d be much obliged, I’m sure. And oh, er, don’t forget what I told you in Istanbul. You toucha my car, I breaka you face. Oh wait, I’m not Eye-talian. Oh well, never mind.

  108. Neo says:


    I wouldn’t call it a ‘sharp reduction’. After all, India has said that it would reduce imports by 11%, but a) this has not been done yet, and b) Iran’s oil income has increased by around 20% since the start of the year due to higher prices. So, the ‘reduction’ in really not an issue for Iran, but it may help Obama in his re-election bid.

  109. Cyrus_2 says:


    “Chins, too, is just as self serving.”

    Self serving, yes.
    But unlike the others China is not letting the US jeopardize its vital interests.
    I don’t know what the US has offered Turkey, India, Japan and South-Korea in exchange for a sharp reduction in their oil imports from Iran, but I can’t imagine it’s beneficial for them.
    But the EU beat them all in stupidity with its voluntary oil-boycott and not asking the US anything in return.
    India and the others will at least get some crumbs.

  110. Neo says:


    You didn’t address my central point, which was: “in the context of Israel, India and Pakistan, the nonsense stated about the Iranian ‘threat’ is just silly propaganda and posturing”. Point was that the world can live with nuclear armed states, regardless of the propaganda.

    Iran will make a cost-benefit calculation on the 20% issue, and will act accordingly. I mentioned before to you that Iran raised the stakes and in this manner removed the 5% ‘issue’ off the table. For Iran, the 20% is a bargaining chip, and little else.

    Fact is, if Iran truly wanted to continue to enrich at the 20% or higher, or even decided to build a nuclear bomb, it would do this underground and without anyone’s knowledge. But, all indications are that Iran has decided against the utility – not to mention the morality – of the bomb. What matter for Iran is to protect her interests, and this can be done in many ways. So far, Iran is doing rather well.

    You would like to focus the debate on Israel’s influence on American politics through AIPAC. But this is essentially an American problem, not an Iranian one. And, as mentioned before, I don’t buy the argument that USA is somehow a hostage to the Israeli agenda. USA will drop Israel the moment it suits. And the moment is coming for Israel, as it is for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan etc. The old order is collapsing, and Iran holds the key to the new order. USA has to make a decent offer to Iran in this context. And Iran may dangle the 20% to make the West – or should I say, Western voters – feel like it got something in return.

  111. Empty says:

    Cyrus_2 says,

    “China is now the only one which didn’t cave in to US pressure.”

    Chins, too, is just as self serving. Without China’s financial backing of the US debt, none of the wars of the past two decades would have been possible.

    “The timing is particularly disturbing as oil prices seem to drop lately.”

    There should be little worries about these fluctuations. Regardless of some pockets of mini currents and inconsistencies, the overall direction of the river looks promising. Patience is helpful.

  112. Empty says:

    fyi says, “They went against the Principle that a Sovereign (State) is immune.”

    The intent is to remove the [mis]conception that any state is sovereign. There is no dispute there. What is in dispute though is their qualification to manage the world affairs as a just ruler.

  113. Cyrus_2 says:

    FYI, it seems you were right about India:

    [b]India dumps Iran, squeezes Obama[/b]

    [quote]The cloud cover of sophistry that has been characteristic of India’s Iran policy in recent years lifted on Tuesday when the government admitted in parliament that it had taken a policy decision to reduce oil imports from Iran.[/quote]


    China is now the only one which didn’t cave in to US pressure.
    The timing is particularly disturbing as oil prices seem to drop lately.

    I really hope that Saudi-Arabia’s supposed oil excess capacity is nothing but a pipe dream and that all the states who reduced or stopped their oil imports come back begging to Iran.

  114. Empty says:

    Jay says, “Mr. Albright (the nuclear ex-pert at ISIS) has his full-action suit on. First it was the laughable drawing of the “chamber” at Parchin, and now this…”

    Albright is the founder of ISIS and is staying true to the name of his foundation. ISIS, was famed for using magic to get her way. What Albright calls “science” is in fact sorcery and what he calls “security” is in fact sabotage. More correctly, ISIS stands for Institute for Sorcery and International Sabotage.

    By the way, ISIS also give birth to Horus, the god of war.

  115. fyi says:

    Dan Cooper says: May 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm
    Yes, but look at what the Iranians achieved:

    Dissension in Israel, dissension among P5+1, and forcing the Axis Powers and Israel to blink.

    The Iranians succeeded in forcing the Israelis, the Europeans, and the Americans in admitting that the proposition that “War is Cheap, Peace is Expensive” in invalid.

    We will have to wait a few more years before the same said state admit that the other half of their position, namely that “Peace is Expensive” is also untenable.

  116. fyi says:


    What Axis States hope to do in 2013:


    I will give them zero chance of success; they could show flexibility on missile defense and once they have settled Iran (and Syria) on their own terms, renege on any missile defense deal with Russia.

  117. Dan Cooper says:

    Ashton’s recent private audience with Netanyahu in Jerusalem was more dangerous and detrimental to the negotiations than one would even expect.

    (Of course, the sheer absurdity of Ashton’s meeting with the Prime Minister of a state that is not a signatory of the NPT, has an undeclared stockpile of hundreds of nuclear warheads, is a constant violator of international law and perpetrator of war crimes, and which is in consistent breach of countless Security Council resolutions goes without saying. That Netanyahu would have any role whatsoever in these discussions, let alone issuing demands to both the U.S. government and Ashton herself, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how designed for failure these negotiations were from the start.)

    By Nima Shirazi
    These are the depths to which propaganda about the Iranian nuclear program have sunk. It’s not even clever anymore, it’s just stupid. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31315.htm

  118. fyi says:

    Humanist says: May 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    There are billions of dollars of judgements against Iran handed down by US Federal Courts.

    They went against the Principle that a Sovereign (State) is immune.

    This is a legal tangle that cannot be unravelled unless the law creating is rescinded.

    That will not happen in the United States.

    One must accept the inevitable conclusion that until the strategic situation changes, the Cold War between US-EU and Shia/Irani Alliance will persist.

    Let us say that we have passed the “Cuban Missile Crisis” moment.

    28 more years of hostility are ahead of us, in my opinion.

    The silver lining in all of this is the implosion of the Axis States’ Finance Economy; it might actually deflate their Hubris.

  119. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    That could be accepable to all.

    The danger of war is removed while Iranians and the Axis States will wage their cold war in the Middle East until the last vestiges of the Axis States power and influence are eradicated.

    But current sanctions will remains and so will Iran’s nuclear file in UNSC for decades.

  120. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Yes, the NYT article might be closer to the truth.

    Since China and Russia are now involved, I expect there to be an interim agreement.

    Neither China nor Russia want a war at this time which would go one for years.

    The likely scenario after next week will be – per Mr. Ross suggestion – frquent (perhaps monthly) P5+1 meetings with Iran over many years.

    Mr. Ross is a master of unsubstantial process and knows that useless meetings could be carried out to convey the illusion of progress; just as his fine work on Arab-Israeli War.

    But my view is that getting out of NPT is something that Iran should predicate on sanctions’ it would P5’s call.

  121. Jay says:

    Mr. Albright (the nuclear ex-pert at ISIS) has his full-action suit on. First it was the laughable drawing of the “chamber” at Parchin, and now this:


    No wonder slightly below average “realist” types get confused! They get taken in by the “shock-and-awe” campaign for the feeble mind.

  122. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    It is clear to me reading this account that you have posted that US-EU were playing a cat and mouse game with Iran which they fully believed they would win.

    So in 2006 and early in 2012 they brought themselves, Iran, and the world to the brink of war.

    And then they blinked.

    I want you to understand that US-EU Leaders are not statesmen – they have amply demonstrated that over the last 10 years.

  123. Rehmat says:

    British veteran journalist and author, Alan Hart, in his latest article, entitled Never ending Nakba has warned the Jews around the world to fight the evil of Zionism before it’s too late.

    “If the rising global tide of anti-Israelism is not to be transformed into anti-Semitism, making another great turning against Jews everywhere inevitable at some point, the Jews of the world must play their necessary part in containing and confronting Zionism. As I never tire of pointing out, silence is not the way to refute and demolish a charge of complicity in Zionism’s crimes,” wrote Alan.


  124. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    May 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    The comparison to Mexico is helpful; thanks.

    The main point is, Iran has pretty much the same stresses as most other representative governments.

    (but nicer swimming pools. Our local college drained its pool and uses it for a seminar room. The community cannot afford the insurance to keep the pool open.)

  125. Arnold Evans says:

    Does anyone want to read about the Brussels Agreement (from 2003)?


    It looks like the narrative that it was thwarted by Ahmadinejad where it might have prevented any sanctions leaves out important details including the US and UK’s determination not to follow it.

  126. Arnold Evans says:


    Whoever said Iran would pull out of the NPT didn’t give a name. Until there is a name, I have no basis to even assess its credibility. The NYT quote that if negotiations fail expect an announcement to make the West forget about Fordo is much more in line with Iran’s behavior so far.

  127. James:

    “I think the P5+1 will accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower.”

    I won’t speculate about what Obama might OK after the election, if he gets re-elected. But before the election, the chance of any formal or even tacit approval of Iranian enrichment, at 5% or even .0001%, is very slim to none, for the very reasons you give.

    After the election, all bets are off. But before? No deal on anything — unless, of course, it’s such a great deal for the US and bad deal for Iran that Iran would never approve it in the first place, which is just another way of saying “No deal.”

  128. Humanist,

    That Congressional resolution you cite indeed would present an obstacle, but I assume Obama’s people will get it changed if a deal is in the works. He’ll undoubtedly get some sign-off from Congressional leaders in any event, and terminating the restrictions you cite will be just one of several housekeeping items.

    If a deal gets done in the first place, of course.

  129. James Canning says:


    I think the P5+1 will accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower. Obama will be attacked strongly for being “weak” etc etc etc.

  130. James Canning says:


    Regrettably, Iran has played into the hands of the neocon warmongers, Aipac, etc etc. Time to stop making it easy for Iran’s enemies.

  131. James Canning says:


    The American people are tired of endless war in the Middle East. If Iran stops enriching to 20 percent, it can begin to enable an improvement in relations. EVEN IF NEOCON WARMONGERS DO NOT LIKE IT. EVEN IF AIPAC AND OTHER EXTREMIST JEWISH GROUPS DO NOT LIKE IT.

  132. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    There is an old and well-known story in Persian about a man who was taken to a judge for a crime.

    He was sentenced to either consuming 9 kilos of raw onions or 30 receive 30 lashes.

    He chose eating onions.

    Well, he could not continue eating them so he opted for lashes.

    He could not endure the lashes and asked for onions again.

    And so it went.

    At the end, he had consumed both the onions and received the lashes.

    This is the stroy of US-EU vs. Iran:

    US-EU were sanctioning Iran, ostenisbly to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, all the while making sure that the Iranians had no recourse left but war, which was going to wreck the world economy and leave a Nuclear-armed Iran in its wake.

    1. Sanctio

  133. Karl says:

    The opposition to war among top shelf is advancing. Next up, RAND.

    Top U.S. think tank warns against Israeli, American strike on Iran

  134. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Yes, only a limited cease-fire deal is possible.

    However if Iranians are not satisfied with the deal, they will announce their intention to leave NPT unless and until sanctions are removed within the NPT withdrawal requirement.

    That basically means: accept us or go to war.

    The message would be to P5+1.

    I expect the P5+1 to fold.

  135. James Canning says:


    Yes, Aipac would not allow Obama to lift the sanctions at this time. Aipac would ensure Obama was removed from the White House.

  136. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Lady Ashton indeed is no great beauty, but she does seem to have ample common sense.

  137. James Canning says:


    You said recently only a limited deal can be made at this time (betweeen P5+1 and Iran). Clearly this is what obtains.

  138. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I think the important part fo that article was that Iranians are perepared to leave NPT if sanctions are not lifted.

    This means that the Iranian leaders are comfortable with war.

  139. Arnold Evans says:

    From FYI’s link:


    [C]oncern exists that the experience of the Brussels’ Agreement, which could have prevented sanctions against Iran, would be repeated. That agreement consisted of 11 articles and was signed between Ali Larijani, then secretary of the National Security Council, and Javier Solana, former European Union foreign policy chief.

    The signed draft of the agreement, which was coordinated with the Revolution’s Leader, faced fierce opposition from Ahmadinejad, who … in an unexpected speech in Qods Friday Prayer, announced that the agreement has been signed without his knowledge; subsequently Larijani was forced to resign as the Secretary of the National Security Council [and as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator].

    This is my first time hearing anything remotely like this. Any ideas of details such as when the agreement was in consideration and what its terms could have been?

    And also from Thomas Erdbink’s article today in the New York Times:


    Independence from the West is a pillar of the Islamic Republic’s ideology, which makes it very hard for Iran’s leaders to compromise on issues such as closing nuclear sites or foreign inspections beyond the current agreements under the nonproliferation treaty, analysts here said.

    Rather, expect the country to start a new nuclear project, if talks fail, one analyst said. “Wait for our leaders to announce, for example, a new mountain bunker so Fordo will be forgotten,” he said, asking to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss this topic. “In case of failure we will try to hold out again until better opportunities for reaching our goals arise.”

  140. Voice of Tehran says:

    James Canning says:
    May 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    “”The Financial Times today suggests that Ahmadinejad was not pleased to see Lady Ashton pose for a picture with Jalili…

    Who could blame Ahmadinejad for his displeasure , James ?
    You have to admit that the Baroness of Upholland is far from being photogenic , such pictures will remain in the history books forever , imagine the next Iranian generations would have to see them :-)

  141. Humanist says:


    You are a lawyer. How important is the following stumbling block in future negotiations of P5+1 with Iran?

    As far as I know this is a segment of US law signed by Obama last year:

    “The U.S. sanctions can only be lifted after the president certifies to Congress that the government of Iran has: (1) released all political prisoners and detainees; (2) ceased its practices of violence and abuse of Iranian citizens engaging in peaceful political activity; (3) conducted a transparent investigation into the killings and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those responsible; and (4) made progress toward establishing an independent judiciary”

  142. anti war says:


  143. James Canning says:


    Netanyahu’s deal with Mofaz lessens his reliance on ultra-orthodox and illegal settler parties in the Israeli parliament. Mofaz thinks Israel’s primary security problem does not come from Iran.

  144. James Canning says:

    I recommend Doug Bandow’s May 15th piece: “Mitt Romney: The Foreign Policy of Know-Nothingism”


  145. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today suggests that Ahmadinejad was not pleased to see Lady Ashton pose for a picture with Jalili. I think Ahmadinejad should welcome such a picture being taken.

  146. James Canning says:


    You are quite mistaken of you think the US is “posturing” about Iranian enrichment to 20 percent.

  147. James Canning says:


    You are dead wrong about the “20 percent” issue. The New York Times today reported that the likeliest deal to emerge from Baghdad will be an Iranian agreement to stop enriching to 20 percent and a lifting of the sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank in return.

  148. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: May 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    The factions are similar – but not identical – to the factions in the Mexico after the Revolution.

    Since Iran is a restricted representative governmnet, it suffers the same ills that afflicted Mexico for 70 years after the Mexican Revolution.

    Iranians are just happy to be able to vote and see that their vote actually makes a difference.

    And the factions have at times harmed Iran to advance their narrow family/associates interests.

    Just like the American factions have damaged the United States considerably.

    60% of Iran is Urban, 40% rural.

    Tehran, with less than 10% of Iranian population, consumes 30% of teh state budgest – as is always grumbling.

  149. James Canning says:


    The Clinton administration wanted to restore normal relations with Iran. Aipac blocked it. It is important to attach blame for American stupidity where it belongs.
    Obama has no interest in “breaking Iran’s back”, but Aipac is trying to force him to do that.

  150. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    May 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    “Indications of heightened rivalry within the Iranian ruling factions, ”

    I don’t understand.
    How can a “totalitarian,” “authoritarian” regime have factional rivalries, particularly when one of the rivals, Ahmadinejad, is known to court and enjoy support from an electoral majority of Iranians, many of who are poor and rural?

  151. Unknown Unknowns says:

    One of the highlights of my recent trip to Isfahan: a swimming pool. There are two main pools which are kept at a nice temperature somewhere between cool and tepid, three hot pools at different degrees of hotness from hot to very hot to almost too hot, and one ice cold pool provided for the benefit of masochists. The entire complex is maintained in a sanitary condition by the use of hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine which has been obsolete for over 30 years now, but which is still the norm in that has-been backwater, Amerika.


    Too bad there aren’t any pictures of the building’s exterior, which is as tastefully designed and executed. And too bad that Tehran is almost completely lacking in the architectural talent that is so evident in Isfahan.

  152. Kathleen says:

    Counterterroism expert Richard Clarke stated and wrote in several place that Condi “mushroom cloud” Rice and Stephen Hadley ignored his efforts to warn them about potential terrorrism attacks when the Bush administration took office. That he did not get an up close meeting with them until a few days before 9/11. So who is pushing for “mushroom cloud” Rice for the VP spot? Max Boot, Kagan?

    Some great ad spots with Rice pushing hard for the invasion based on a “pack of lies” The Obama administration team has to be licking their chops. Yeah go ahead and remind the public about those disatrous policy decisions in regard to Iraq. We dare you.

  153. Rehmat says:

    A warning:

    “Israel cannot do to Iran what Bibi wants done to Iran. Only Obama can. If there is no US attack on Iran by November, and Obama wins, there may never be a US ataack on Iran. No wonder Bibi is frustrated,” Patrick J. Buchanan, Anti-War, April 17, 2012.


  154. hans says:

    Neo says:
    May 15, 2012 at 4:06 am

    All the noise on this forum is very articulated by Neo. It matters not. JP Morgan, the founding father of the Federal Reserve! the custodian of SLV (paper Silver) is on it’s way similar to Lehmans, Bear Sterns, Aig, I.E a collapse. When this happens not maybe but when then the price of Silver will shoot up. As I said may times >$35 watch out Syria >$50 watch out Iran, Venezuela, Lebanon.

  155. Neo says:

    I see all of this as an effort to break Iran’s back because there is no rational explanation for the decades-long pressure on Iran other than it being an effort to stop an emerging power from emerging. The nuclear ‘dispute’ is about this, and little else, for in the context of Israel, India and Pakistan, the nonsense stated about the Iranian ‘threat’ is just silly propaganda and posturing. That’s why the 20% issue matters not.

  156. Arnold Evans says:
    May 15, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I can’t imagine that any significant agreement is possible before the election – which means not before next January or February, as a practical matter, given the inevitable post-election decompression, the Christmas holidays, and the inauguration on January 20 (whoever wins). If any agreement were reached before the election, (1) those most strongly opposed to Iran would fault Obama for having compromised at all, on anything; (2) very few voters would give Obama credit for having compromised (and those who do would have voted for Obama anyway); and (3) those who want to resolve the dispute would consider Obama at least marginally more dispensable since some compromises will already have been accomplished. If I were Obama, I’d commit to nothing whatsoever so that Romney has no clear target, talk tough but insist that a settlement is possible if Iran will only show its peaceful intentions by giving in to all US demands, and try to persuade voters that they will screw it all up if they vote Obama out of office when we’re so close to the finish line.

  157. Arnold Evans says:
    May 15, 2012 at 12:23 a

    “My take on “nuclear weapons program” … is that Ashton is presenting a way for Iran to end its “nuclear weapons program” without stopping enrichment – by following whatever demands are in the Carnegie report Ignatius talked about. Nuclear weapons program is better than nuclear weapons capability in that it is something that can end, if you want to say it has ended.”

    Persuasive – this strikes me as a more likely explanation for Ashton’s phrasing.

  158. Arnold Evans says:

    My take on “nuclear weapons program” was mild annoyance when I first read it, but after the Ignatius article, my guess is that Ashton is presenting a way for Iran to end its “nuclear weapons program” without stopping enrichment – by following whatever demands are in the Carnegie report Ignatius talked about.

    Nuclear weapons program is better than nuclear weapons capability in that it is something that can end, if you want to say it has ended.

    Even more than before I doubt Iran will sign onto the demands the West has in mind, even short of suspension of enrichment to 5%.

    I also do not believe the US plans or wants to resolve the dispute before it gets a chance to impose sanctions on Iran’s central bank.

    What I think will happen at this point is:

    No agreement in Baghdad during this round. Central bank sanctions come on as scheduled.

    The TRR fuel swap is still not completed because Iran and the US wants Iran to export its 20% uranium with effectively no assurances of TRR delivery while Iran wants to hold on the swap on Iranian (or maybe Iraqi, but not Turkish) territory until the TRR fuel is delivered – pretty much exactly as last time, for the exact same reasons.

    Years from now, Iran will have coped with the sanctions to some degree, have several hundreds of pounds of 20% LEU and a round of negotiations will begin before Iran opens its heavy water reactor.

  159. REALIST1 says:
    May 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Interesting study, and a welcome contribution. But I see a serious flaw you might see want to comment on.

    As you point out, the researcher went to great lengths to establish that the data he collected was reliable. Let’s assume here that he’s correct — it is reliable. His data shows that the Iranian people hold liberal democratic values to a very considerable extent.

    But the researcher’s central point was not simply the considerable extent to which the Iranian people hold liberal democratic values. His central point, instead, was that this was surprising to him. How odd, he said, that the Iranian people hold liberal democratic values when they are ruled by an “autocratic,” “authoritarian” and “repressive” regime.

    This begs an important question: How sound were the researcher’s methods in establishing the other side of this comparison? Did he use sound scientific methods to establish that the Iranian government is in fact “autocratic,” “authoritarian” and “repressive?” Or did he simply ask his readers to assume that since, after all, everyone simply knows it’s true?

    The latter, exclusively.

    If one simply assumes the existence of this contrast, it is not surprising that the researcher found his findings to be so surprising. But might there be another explanation for his finding that that the Iranian people hold liberal democratic values to a very considerable extent? Might that other explanation be that his assumption about Iran being an an “autocratic,” “authoritarian” and “repressive” state could stand a more careful examination? Might the surprising contrast he perceives not be quite so surprising because it’s not really a contrast after all?

  160. Karl says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Astute observation about Ashton’s phrasing: “nuclear weapons programme.”

    Not to minimize that compliment, but I’d noticed that too. Until about 4-6 months ago, the stock phrase was always “nuclear program,” which, of course, was meant to be interpreted as “nuclear weapons program” but allowed the speaker/writer to claim he’d said no such thing if challenged by someone who pointed out there’s never been any evidence of such a thing.

    Within the past 4-6 months (the exact date depending on the publication, government official or government agency involved), “nuclear program” largely gave way to “nuclear weapons capability,” which also is meant to be interpreted as “nuclear weapons program” but, once again, allows the speaker/writer to insist he’d said no such thing if challenged.

    “Nuclear weapons capability” is a distinct improvement over “nuclear program.” It allows the speaker/writer to avoid backing down entirely if challenged. While a challenger can point out the utter lack of evidence that Iran has a “nuclear weapons program,” he cannot show that Iran lacks “nuclear weapons capability” — for at least two good reasons. First, it’s not entirely clear, at least to me, what “nuclear weapons capability” even means; I could probably cite at least half a dozen slightly different variants of the term’s meaning. Second, if “nuclear weapons capability” means, vaguely, that Iran has figured out enough about nuclear matters that, if it chose to place a crack team of scientists in some deep-underground bunker, with 1,000 cases of Jolt Cola, a powerful wi-fi connection, and all the equipment and 99% uranium they could possibly make use of, they could probably build a nuclear bomb in a year or so even if the US turned the rest of Iran into melted glass, it would be difficult or impossible for anyone to establish that that is not true.

    In Iran-nuclear-program parlance, of course, if a statement (especially one condensed into a stock phrase such as “nuclear weapons capability”) cannot be proven false, it follows that the statement is true. And that’s the undeniable appeal of “nuclear weapons capability.” I predict a long and fruitful life for the term — only the ignorant and unwashed will continue to use the inferior “nuclear program.”

    So long and so fruitful a life, in fact, that I foresee no immediate need for anything better — especially not something as bold and vulnerable as “nuclear weapons programme.” I think we can chalk that one up to sloppiness on the part of Lady Ashton — or, more cynically, her assessment (almost certainly correct) that she can get away with whatever term she feels like using over the next several weeks since Iran almost certainly will not challenge her during the brief but hopeful period preceding the next round of negotiations. For at least a short while, it’s “make nice” time, and Lady Ashton is taking advantage of that.

  161. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Ypu are evidently ignorant of the Jewish Tradition as well as many other things.


    Shalom lecha.

  162. Rehmat says:

    fyi – Isn’t Talmud took the pharase “bastard” for Jesus from Greek?


  163. Rehmat says:

    Montreal’s Evenko and Corona Theatre has canceled French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala’s show ‘Rendez-nous Jésus (Give us back Jesus)‘ under pressure from Jewish groups lead by pro-Israel B’nai Brith. Dieudonné was scheduled to perform at the theatre begining May 14, 2012.

    Dieudonné in 2010 interview with Press TV admitted that there is more freedom of speech in Iran than in France which is under the thumb of the Zionist lobby.


  164. James Canning says:


    Doesn’t Dennis Ross have close ties to very rich Jews whose support Obama needs to win re-election (and to keep control of the Senate)? Follow the money.

  165. Karl says:

    Amano politicizes the IAEA even more. Instead of friendly relations/positive spirit he have apparently pushed the same kind of demands US are pushing on Iran outside of the IAEA.

    IAEA refuses Iran cooperation pact


    MEK supporter speak of the vast support among the top elite.

    “‘…“If you indict me, [Rendell explained] I hope you know, you have to indict 67 other Americans who did the same thing, including seven generals … [who] served in Iraq. You’d have to indict James Jones, President Obama’s first NSC chief adviser, you’d have to indict former Attorney General [Michael] Mukasey, former FBI Director Louis Freeh … the whole kit and caboodle.” That caboodle is voluminous and high-powered, including Tom Ridge, UN Ambassador John Bolton, Rudolph Giuliani and Howard Dean, among others.'”


  166. Fiorangela says:

    Photi, I listened to the “Iran Nuclear” panel while potting up some seedlings.

    Nicholas Burns is to be commended, or perhaps he had not consumed any breakfast that he would have lost.

    The mystery is why anyone in the western hemisphere invests any credibility in Dennis Ross. When someone has a consistent record of failures, doesn’t the message get around that he’s not the best negotiator?
    He was involved in Iraq I — at least half a million people died.
    He was involved in Iraq II — another half a million more or less died
    He was involved in Afghanistan — ongoing disaster –> deaths of untold numbers of Afghanis
    He has been involved in Israel-Palestine conflict for over 20 years. Thousands of Palestinians have died.

    All the while, Israel has become more and more vicious, and Americans have sent Israel more and more money and weapons. The key agreement among this “diverse” panel today (all zionist Israel firsters) was that US should send Israel bunker busters so that Iran understands that a military threat is “credible.”

    We are governed by sociopaths.

    What is it going to take to stop these madmen? Hillary and Flynt Leverett can do only so much.

  167. ToivoS says:

    “Karl says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Ashton’s use of the term “nuclear weapons programme” went beyond the language commonly used by Western officials, who usually describe Iran’s efforts as an attempt to move towards a nuclear weapons capability”.

    We should greet her statement as positive news. We know and she knows that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. What she is saying if that is officially acknowledged in the negotiations then, viola, there is no longer official pretext for the US or Israel to attack Iran.

  168. Rd. says:

    Rehmat says:

    “Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are expected to meet and discuss closer union among the six countries on May 14.”

    Is this what they call a marriage in heaven!!!! Considering Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani himself seized power in his country by overthrowing his father!! Saudi royals will be in good company. They should called the union of bastard daggers.

  169. Castellio says:

    Far from detailed, but in terms of general orientation I think Kolko (below) gets it right.


    For Reali*t1: If you seriously believe you are defending traditional western values then your level of delusion is breathtaking. Your words remind me of the American military leader in Apocalypse Now, “I like the smell of napalm in the morning. Makes me think of victory.”

    Was that the best the west could offer? And in spite of the Napalm, who won in Vietnam?

  170. James Canning says:

    I recommend strongly Scott McConnell’s May 13th comments: “Steve Walt’s Warning”


    Quote: “The idea for the Iraq War [according to Walt] originated with the neocons, not with the State Department, the Pentagon, the oil companies, the intelligence agencies, or anyone else.”

    “The war was the product of a few dozen like-minded publicists and intelledctuals, working effectively to turn an idea into a reality.”

  171. James Canning says:


    Obviously I agree with you that only small deals with Iran can be made at this time. Obama would be removed from the White House if he made a major deal with Iran.

    But Jalili is quite right to seek better relations with France.

  172. James Canning says:


    Mitt Romney today is even more ignorant about world affairs than was George W. Bush in 2000. Romney would be a dupe of neocon warmongers.

  173. James Canning says:

    Finacial Times leader (editorial) today: “No more excuses for Netnayahu – – Bibi’s choice: peace with the Palestinians or war with Iran”. The FT agrees with Shaul Mofaz that Israel faces a much bigger threat from its failure to get out of the West Bank, than it does with Iran.

  174. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    “Idiot” – from Anciet Greek, “Idiotis” – “He who walks alone.”

    Thank you.

  175. Rehmat says:

    Saudi Arabia to merger with Bahrain

    Washington has come-up with a plan, the Saudi ‘royals’ cannot refuse. The plan involved the merger of six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with Saudi Arabia, which will gurantee the rules of the current western puppet regimes with help of the US, EU and Israel.

    Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are expected to meet and discuss closer union among the six countries on May 14.

    Reports say Saudi Arabia will merge initially with Bahrain in order for the six-member Arab council to reach unity. They have all claimed that the move is to counter the new emerging regional threat (from Iran).

    Former US Senate candidate Mark Dankof claimed last year that the US wants to maintain Khalifa family’s brutal rule in Shia-majority Bahrain for the benefit of the Zionist entity.

    Recently, Iran’s Press TV has interviewed American professor Kevin Barrett, who denies official 9/11 story.

    “Saudis are trying to keep the lid on protests in the region and they are trying to strengthen their position in Bahrain which they already invaded last year. To call this a move on the European Union model is disingenuous. I think this is more along the lines of Hitler’s Anschluss, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria. The big difference is that the majority of people in Austria supported that. Whereas today, the vast majority of people in Bahrain will be horrified to be occupied by and digested into Wahhabi Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Barrett.

    Pepe Escobar wrote in Asia Times (May 12, 2012) under the title: Long live our Gulf bastards:

    Just as the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty in power in Bahrain is vowing, publicly, to keep arresting, tear-gassing, raiding their homes, confiscating their jobs and forcing pro-democracy protesters to live in non-stop fear, Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa is being hosted in Washington by the Barack Obama administration.

    Prince Salman – who Bahraini propaganda sells as a “moderate” – showed up at the US State Department side-by-side with Secretary of State Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton. Those who “die” are evil dictators of the Muammar Gaddafi variety; “our” bastards get to party in DC after being extended a red carpet welcome.

    Is there any Arab Spring-related repression and killing going in Bahrain? According to Clinton, of course not; these are only “internal issues” – in her own words.


  176. Rehmat says:

    fy1 – I never douted that your brain is in the wrong place of your body.

    Only an idiot will compare Mexico with Pakistan. Not only Mexico existed before both Pakistan (1947) and Israel (1948) showed on world map – but also Mexico is 95% Christian while Pakistan is 88% Muslim.

  177. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    REALIST1 says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    And speaking of all things related to comprehension, one of the most basic elements of comprehension is the ability to understand and follow a basic set of rules. Like say, the list of rules that governs comments on this website. For example:

    To quote from those rules

    “messages containing any of the following elements will be taken down:”

    1. “Personal attacks against other contributors;”

    2. “Racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language;”

    3. “Copying full text of others’ articles—this is a copyright infringement;”

    4. “Provocations designed to derail discussions away from substantive debate into dead-end arguments;”

    And in addition, a guideline that should be generally followed and adhered to which you seem to be unaware of “We also ask commentators to maintain a respectful tone with others and to be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own.”

    An earlier poster recommended that you read and understand these rules, but since you were apparently unable to comprehend that post, I am reproducing them here for your own edification. For the source of those rules, go here: http://www.raceforiran.com/rules-and-regulations-for-www-raceforiran-com-2.

  178. Karl says:


    Checked it for some minutes. Amazingly, the same people like Elliots who took us to war against Iraq now are trying to do the same on Iran.
    And the constant notion that America, not Israel, should use force. Gee why dont these people dont move to Israel instead of sitting in america using american power and force for israeli, not american interests..

  179. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Americans leaders are still oblivious to what is going on in Mexico.

    No matter, once Mexico goes the way of Pakistan, they will.

  180. Rehmat says:

    Muslims invade Mexico!

    Muslim population growth has always made the Israelis and their western poodles very nervous. They see the phony Al-Qaeda or Lebanese Islamic Resistance, Hizbullah, everywhere. In November 2011, GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, claimed during a speech in Washington that “Hizbullah is working throughout Latin America including Mexico, which poses a very significant and imminent threat to the United States of America“.

    Texas governor Rick Perry added his concern on behalf of Israel Lobby, by saying: “We know that Hamas and Hizbullah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States“.


  181. Rehmat says:

    fyi – In case Abe Foxman (ADL) did not teach you – Bahrain was a Persian province till late 18th century. Shia’s make 15% of Saudi population. There are many Iranian Sunnis who hate Shias too. However, Iranian have one thing in common – they all hate the Jewish occupation of Sunni Palestine.

  182. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    REALIST1 says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Yep, I find it amusing that this “new” poster is so blinded by his own arrogance he cannot even understand the things he posts himself. How wonderful when he undermines his own claims by failing to understand the meaning of what he himself posts (if some random poll he found on the internet is trustworthy, which I am assuming for this little exercise). And it becomes even more hilarious with the knowledge that he is unaware of the problem this causes for his argument and that he will not realize it until someone explains it to him.

  183. Photi says:

    “Iran’s Nuclear Program” on Cspan 1 live, just now at the introduction. Dennis Ross, Nick Burns and others.

  184. fyi says:

    khurshid says: May 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    There are Arabs in Sauid Arbai that just hate Shia Muslims.

    These Arabs and their influence will make life in Bahrain very very bad indeed for the Shia there.

    And Iranians are going to sit back and watch, letting every Shia in the world see what could happen to Shia if there is no support for Iran.

    This is another gift to Iran by her enemies.

  185. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Evidently, I have to spell out in detail so that even you can grasp my points.

    Dr. Jalilli is there to negogiate, he does not have any interest beyond minimizing damage to Iran.

    He cannot careless about EU, he is not one of those marginalied Iranians who wish to work with EU.

    The days of “Critical Engagements” etc. are over.

    Only small transactional deals between EU and Iran are possible.

  186. REALIST1 says:

    Dolt: I knoew you don’t know how to comprehend things in that brain of yours; and this includes being able to hold more complex thoughts in your head without seeing them as contradictions. Otherwise, you’re either an uneducated dummy or you have some problem within the cognitive centers of your brain.

    The key difference between this sccientifically reliable study compared to the one’s the Leverett’s rely on (from the article)..:

    To overcome the challenge of measuring the potential for freedom and democracy in an autocratic country like Iran, we had to innovate. Typically, researchers use questionnaires that include questions such as “are you for or against democracy?” Or “have you ever signed a petition?” However, citizens in authoritarian countries are often afraid to respond to such explicit questions, and if they do respond their answers are likely to be distorted by fear.

    Therefore we used a psychological questionnaire that measures the basic values of society without posing a single question in political terms. The questions described the views of a figurative third person and then asked the Iranian interviewee to what extent that person was similar to them. The third person was described in sentences such as “It is important to him to make his own decisions about his life,” “thinking creatively is important to him,” and “it is important to him to be the one who tells others what to do.”

  187. Karl says:

    Ashton clearly show her bias and irrationality…
    After her visit to Israel EU’s Ashton some 1-2 weeks ago she now says:

    “My ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons programme in Iran,” she told reporters in Brussels. “I hope we’ll see the beginnings of success.”

    Ashton’s use of the term “nuclear weapons programme” went beyond the language commonly used by Western officials, who usually describe Iran’s efforts as an attempt to move towards a nuclear weapons capability”

    What “nuclear weapons programme”?!

  188. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    REALIST1 says:
    May 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

    What is amusing here is that the poll quoted by UnRealist1 completely destroys his argument in all respects. Yet more proof that he cannot even read and understand what he copy paste spams before he copy paste spams it.

  189. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    hans says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Someone here has already beaten it, by a wide margin. His current identity is Un”Realist1″. I have a feeling that “Realist1” considers that opinion is wrong only in that it does not blame every terrorist attack ever committed on Iran.

  190. hans says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    May 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Beat this crazy nonsense if you can
    Lopez and Tefft “state it is their expert opinion to a reasonable degree of professional certainty that the Iranian Regime’s use of terror, and specifically, its material support of al-Qaeda and terrorist attacks, including 9/11, is beyond question.”
    The US court judgment issued in Dec 2011 (Havlish v Iran) which blames the Iranian government for the 9/11 attacks.

  191. REALIST1 says:

    Now, when you jokesters time and time again like to deceive and lie to yourselves as well as being stooges of the Islamic Republic and their hooligans; do you not only like to avoid the very real fact that when Iranians inside of Iran receive a phone call and are asked questions in regards to their support for the regime, they very reasonably start to fear for their lives as this is how people live inside of a fascist and totalitarian society run by primitive madmen. Away from this very simple and real phenomenon and fact, the polling organizations did not even use proper scientific methodologies in ensuring a representative sample of Iran as divided by both ethnic groups and all the 31 different provinces inside of Iran.

    Now, why am I bringing all this up?? Because finally someone did a proper survey that meets the criteria for scientific reliability and validity. And their findings are truly remarkable and exciting. This was NOT run by the U.S. government. It was run by scientists and very careful consideration was also given as to the types of questions to ask in a “creative” way in order to learn the “psyche” and political inclinations of the Iranian people.

    Please read below..:

    Iranians Have Democratic Values
    New research reveals that Iranian society has a pro-liberal value structure deeply at odds with the fundamentalist regime.


    In the high-stakes international discussions surrounding Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Iran’s 80 million people are often forgotten. So I, along with a small team of Israelis, decided to explore the driving forces of Iranian society. There have been signs, on the streets and over the Internet, of a battle raging between the country’s Islamic fundamentalists and the proponents of freedom. The question we set out to explore is where the majority of the people stand.

    Soon we were joined by leading experts in the fields of social psychology, cross-cultural research, the Shiite Muslim religion, statistics, and dozens of Farsi-speaking volunteers.

    Circumventing Iran’s “electronic curtain”—as President Obama described the Iranian government’s efforts to control contact with the outside world—our research team conducted telephone interviews in late 2011 and earlier this year with nearly a thousand Iranians. The latter constituted an accurate representative sample of Iranian society, including all of Iran’s 31 provinces as well as a representative distribution of all ethnic groups, ages and levels of education. The interviews were conducted anonymously and the country the calls came from was concealed in order to ensure the safety of the respondents.

    To overcome the challenge of measuring the potential for freedom and democracy in an autocratic country like Iran, we had to innovate. Typically, researchers use questionnaires that include questions such as “are you for or against democracy?” Or “have you ever signed a petition?” However, citizens in authoritarian countries are often afraid to respond to such explicit questions, and if they do respond their answers are likely to be distorted by fear.

    Therefore we used a psychological questionnaire that measures the basic values of society without posing a single question in political terms. The questions described the views of a figurative third person and then asked the Iranian interviewee to what extent that person was similar to them. The third person was described in sentences such as “It is important to him to make his own decisions about his life,” “thinking creatively is important to him,” and “it is important to him to be the one who tells others what to do.”

    The questionnaire used in Iran was developed by cross-cultural psychology expert Shalom Schwartz as part of his “Theory of Basic Human Values,” which is widely used by psychology researchers. In cooperation with Prof. Schwartz, our team created an index which measures the potential of a society to foster democratization, based on its values.

    We validated the index by representative samples from 64 countries, and 162,994 respondents, from the United States and Sweden to Indonesia and Ghana. This revealed a strong correlation between a society’s score on the index and its degree of democratization (based on the Freedom House measure of what constitutes a liberal democracy).

    Conducting the interviews in Iran, we were amazed by how forthcoming the Iranian people were.

    An analysis of the Iranian sample showed that alongside conservative values, such as conformity and tradition, Iranian society is characterized by strong support for pro-liberal values such as a belief in the importance of self-direction and benevolence. For example, 94% of the respondents identified with the sentence “freedom to choose what he does is important to him,” and 71% of the respondents identified with the sentence “being tolerant toward all kinds of people and groups is important to him.”

    Once we had samples from Iran, we could analyze them with global samples using the new index. Iran was placed on a continuum measuring the tendency of societies world-wide to foster liberal democracy. Remarkably, in comparison to 47 countries surveyed in the World Values Survey, Iranian society’s potential for liberal democracy was found to be higher than that of 23 others—including Arab countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, and Asian countries such as South Korea, India and Thailand. In comparison to 29 countries surveyed In the European Social Survey, Iran was found to have higher tendencies toward liberal democracy than Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania.

    We also discovered an abnormally large gap between the societal potential for liberal democracy in Iran and the actual level of democracy in the country. In most countries there is a high correlation between the two. When such a gap exists, there is a strong tendency for the country’s level of democracy to adjust in accordance with the society’s potential.

    Our findings demonstrate that Iranian society as a whole is characterized by a pro-liberal value structure that is deeply at odds with the fundamentalist regime. This presents considerable potential for regime change in Iran and for the development of liberal democracy.

    Mr. Porat is an Israeli political strategist. His full report can be found at http://www.iranresearch.org.


  192. bushtheliberator says:

    dear Realist1,
    You are the only breath of fresh air in this fetid den.I must give our hosts some credit for not kicking you out of their Echo Chamber !The liberation of the Syrians from the Assad thug state will provide the Iranians will another model for the removal of a dictatorship.Damascus now,then on to Tehran.Let’s Roll !

  193. Rehmat says:

    NATO’s Chicago summit: ‘Israel out, Pakistan in’

    Last month, Turkey blocked Israel’s participation in NATO’s upcoming Chicago summit in a sign of its determination to keep the Zionist entity from using NATO to its expansionist agenda. The 2-day Chicago summit which is hosted by Barack Obama is due to be held on May 20-21…..


  194. Reality1 writes:

    “[The UN Security Council] even call for a full halt of the enrichment as it violates international law and international treaties.”

    Interesting. What international laws and treaties might those be?

  195. James Canning says:


    Has anyone doubted Israel’s wish for failure of the talks? Maybe we should say it has always been clear Netanyahu wants the talks to fail.

  196. khurshid says:

    A concerned world citizens says:
    May 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I have also noticed Saudi Arabia’s latest break-dance. The saudis are digging their own grave. Integration of Bahrain under Saudi wing will cause a strong reaction from Bahraini people. Who wants to give sovereignty and independence? It will cause Bahrainis to fight for independence – perhaps an armed fight?

  197. A concerned world citizen says:

    Has anyone noticed the new Mossad/MEK hit piece on Iran’s nuclear program? This latest piece will make even the likes of Colin Powell blush. :)

    The only evidence they produce is from an “unnamed source” from an “unknown country” and it gets even better..It’s DRAWING for Hummus sakes!!! I think Colin Powell will reject this presentation even if his life depended on it.

    It is now clear Israel doesn’t want the upcoming talks in Baghdad to succeed and will do everything to take people’s attentions from it. Yukia Amano, the destroyer of IAEA, has dedicated his life to pushing the diplomatic front to make war possible for the US. While his own country smoulder in Fukushima nuclear ruins. You’d think Fukushima would be IAEA’s main concern now.


  198. Fiorangela says:

    Nima Shirazi analysizes a theme that Mahmoud Omidsalar boldly declares in the opening passages of his books on Shannameh; namely, that Iran is still viewed by westerners through orientalist eyes, a perception that negatively impacts U.S. and Iran relations.

    Shirazi: :http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/05/perceptions-of-persia-persistent.html


    “Explicit Orientalism has long been a hallmark of the West’s condescending and patronizing attitude towards Iran.

    In their second volume of “Major Problems in American Foreign Relations,” published in 2010, Dennis Merrill and Thomas Paterson explain that Western cultural representations of the Third World are so steeped in “‘orientalist’ tones – exotic yet primitive, weak, female, childlike, racially inferior, and in need of supervision” that “Cold War era policymakers were themselves socially conditioned and often viewed others through the Orientalist lens” and “tended to perceive fiery Third World nationalists…as emotionally unstable, politically immature, and threatening to U.S. interests.” Consequently, “[t]hese perceptions justified policies designed to control Third World nationalism and equated self-interested U.S. intervention with parental or civilizational duty.”


    Omidsalar: :http://www.amazon.com/Irans-Americas-Empire-Mahmoud-Omidsalar/dp/0962766496


    Poetics and Politics of Iran’s National Epic, the Shahnameh

    “Recent American Shahnameh studies are conducted in an atmosphere of cultural conflict and conscious or unconscious hostility that reinforces Western myths and beliefs. A distorted Iran that bears little resemblance to the actual country is imagined by Western academics; and it is this imaginary Iran that is fed into the educational and communication pipelines of Europe and America. . . .”

  199. Reality1:

    Corrected link, for my preceding comment:


  200. Reality1 writes:

    “As for people claiming that it is the “right of the Islamic Republic to enrich to 20% uranium. Actually, IT IS NOT. The United Nations Security Council which is BINDING internationally has passed numerous resolutions that the Islamic Republic must halt their uranium enrichment.”

    It’s not clear how well-informed or bright you are, and so this suggestion may be pointless. But here it is: Read Parts 1 and 2 of the piece at the link below. Then come back here, reread what you’ve written above, and tell us whether your view has changed in any way.


  201. James Canning says:


    You regard Jalili as “marginalised”?

  202. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Decades into the future, not any time soon.

    Internally, in Iran, those who wanted to work with EU (and US) are now marginalized.

    And I think they will remian so for a while.

    10 years of almost constant siege war, or threat of war, or opposing Iran in any and all international fora is not going to be undone in a few meetings.

    It will take at least a generation; in my opinion.

  203. Karl says:

    While unnamed sources deny any link to Hollande, its an interesting timing that a socialist former PM visist Iran, especially since the socialist won the election some weeks ago.

    Rocard’s visit attempt to improve Tehran-Paris ties: Iran MP

  204. James Canning says:


    Jalilit correctly sees the need for respect, on the part of the P5+1, for Iran. Lady Ashton also sees the need for this.

  205. James Canning says:


    Even before the end of the Second World War, Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands saw the need for ways and means of improving relations between the warring countries once the war was over. His vision helped to bring about the Common Market and the EU.

  206. James Canning says:

    “West miscalculation will prevent success of Iran-P5+1 talks: Jalili”


  207. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I believe that good relations between EU and Iran are not possible until a decade or 2 have passed from the date of the termination of US-EU Siege War against Iran.

    I suspect that if there is going to be a cease-fire in that war negogiated in Baghdad – Justice Garden, in Persian – later this month; the war will not be dismantled for another 3 to 4 years.

    So, in my estimation, good relations between EU and Iran could commence sometime after 2026 or 2030.

    A long time from now.

    [You cannot shabbily treat a country, humiliate her citizens and leaders, threaten them with war, wage an economic war against them, and expect good relations with them.]

    If there is no agreement in Baghdad, the Siege War against Iran will continue and there will be mo letup until Iranians haveneutralized that war – say another 7 years.

    One has to wait for 20 years or more to see any sea change in relations between EU and Iran after the end of that war – roughly around 2042.

    And that is with the caveat that EU does not try to harm Iran in some other way.

    At any rate, the hostility between US-EU on one side and Iran on the other will persist for at least another generation (20 years) – no doubt – regardless of the outcome of talks in Baghdad.

  208. James Canning says:


    I favor focusing the attention of the world on continuing illegal Jewish colonisation of the West Bank. The Iran issue distracts much-needed attention from this issue.

  209. James Canning says:


    Iran would suffer ZERO harm, if Iran stops enriching to 20 percent. How on earth do you see this as “breaking Iran’s back”? The notion is frankly preposterous, especially given the fact Iran has offered to stop enriching to 20 percent.

  210. James Canning says:


    The Iranian foreign minister says he would like to see better relations between France and Iran. He is showing good sense. Even if you do not like it.

  211. Rehmat says:

    I don’t understand why the Zionist mainstream media is making Rep. Michele Bachmann’s US-Swiss dual citizenship a big issue these days. After all there are hundreds of American Jews and some Christians who carry US-Israel dual citizenship while holding some of most powerful posts in US administrations – from master-spy Jonathan Pollard to former US Attoney General Michael Mukasey to former head Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Even Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu and Tel Aviv’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, carry US-Israel dual citizenship……


  212. Karl says:

    Time for you to check this thread….again.


    Especially the bold stuff.

  213. REALITY1 says:

    You know, you are all truly delusional. I read some of your comments and almost all of you seem to be living in another world. James Canning is the most rational but even he tries to have his cake and eat it too. In addition, it was truly shocking that a user on here had his nickname with the *N* word. Another couple of people on here are self-proclaimed Hizbolli and Basiji thugs. Then we of course have a so-called “humanist” and “rationalist” offering every excuse in the book for Islamic fascists. And we of course have a western convert to Shiite Islam who is looking forward to “studying in qom”. We of course have a Nazi sympathizer among this crowd and a whole slew of anti-Semites and self-hating westerners. IT is quite comical and hilarious how out of touch with reality almost all of you seem to be.

    As for people claiming that it is the “right of the Islamic Republic to enrich to 20% uranium. Actually, IT IS NOT. The United Nations Security Council which is BINDING internationally has passed numerous resolutions that the Islamic Republic must halt their uranium enrichment. They even call for a full halt of the enrichment as it violates international law and international treaties. Now, if the west is willing to negotiate and allow them to enrich to 5% for medical purposes; would be the willingness and good-will of the west in an aim for a successful resolution to the crisis. As it is, the regime is currently violating international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions. So please get your basic facts right before making ridiculous claims.

    BTW, for all you on here who have no sense of even a semblance of moral clarity and concern for humanity (even though you pretend you do when in reality you don’t as you are blinded for your self-hatred in not appreciating the values and freedoms of the west) – how do you like the fact that this regime has just sentenced four homosexuals to execution? And how about the fatwa of DEATH issued by a Grand Ayatollah against a German-Iranian rapper living in Germany for simply producing music of his choice? Again, you lack an understanding of right and wrong and the dignity of human freedom. For this very reason, the vast majority of you on here are supporters of the brutal sadist and maniac Bashar al-Assad. Shame on you.

  214. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizens says: May 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    It pains me to see the sound policy of “Zero Problems with Neighbours” in tatters.

    That was the correct policy for a state that has human developmnt rank of 98 (Iran is 86, Saudi Arabia is 53).

    Turkey is on a fool’s errand, no doubt, in Syria.

  215. Rehmat says:

    A March 2012 study by the Simon Wiesenthal Institute reported that half of European believe Israel to be the greatest threat to world peace and over one third are known to be anti-Semitics.

    “In France, Nicolas Sarkozy who has been the warmest French president ever to the State of Israel is up for re-electionagainst Socialist François Hollande. Sarkozy has stated ”We will never compromise on Israeli security”, said the establishment of the Jewish state was “the most important event of the 20th century” – his opponent is closely linked to Anti-Israel political leaders. “France would be more politically aligned with the Arab countries, and this could have an effect on its relations with Israel,” said Ivan Rioufol, columnist in the French daily Le Figaro. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has said it would be a “big blow to Israel” if Sarkozy lost,” said the study.


  216. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm


    yes, that is true. war would be bad for both sides, no doubt. but there is only one side threatening war on the other. against all international laws and reason too. for that reason alone, a war may favour iran in the long run. so the real threat the west makes is against itself. levels are enrichment are irrelevant to the real story. why are you so concerned about percentages of enrichment of an unstable chemical element? the west is hellbent on breaking the back of the only independent nation in the oil rich region. problem is, the west doesn’t appear to be powerful enough to control iran.

  217. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm


    We didn’t even got passed stage 1 of step 1, that is I was only willing to voluntarily halt 20% enrichment as long as I was able to purchase the fuel for TRR and it was not an obligation to halt 20% enrichment, Iran has consistently said it does not require to enrich to 20% if she can get the TRR fuel in open market. I don’t think Iran will agree to a formal binding agreement to concede to any of its NPT rights.

    Even Ahmadinejad who more than anybody else in Iran may want to reestablish working with the west, today, he said we will not give up an iota of our rights. If the west is looking for a deal it will be based on all current format of NPT with some sort of face saving election year voluntarily on need bases understandings or there will be no deal. In that case west can go back to its propaganda outlets (likes of david Ignatius) and claim we won and Iranian can go back and say we didn’t give up any of our rights and made them to accept all nations ratified NPT rights as it stands. That is in coming NAM meeting this summer in Iran.

  218. Arnold Evans says:

    Looking back at the exercise Kooshy and I did a couple of weeks ago, where I played the US team in negotiating with Kooshy as Iran, we didn’t get past Ignatius’ step 1.

    I don’t think there is a tremendous amount of strategic advantage in either direction regarding the current about 120kgs of 20% LEU. As far as I can see, it is mostly, or largely valuable as a symbol or on a principle. On the other hand, scientists died. It is easy to imagine Iran being firm about its stockpile since it’s been paid for in lives. We’ll see if they get that far.

    If in Baghdad they get past that, since Iran seems ok with suspending further 20% LEU as long as TRR fuel will be reliably provided then the question will be raised of what long term arrangement Iran will accept for its nuclear program given that enrichment to 5% will be allowed.

    I had not read about a 2000 km limit on missiles. I imagine that would be the result of some form of signal related to these negotiations.

    Iran was really trying to reach an agreement when it suspended from 2003 to 2005. If the EU3 had put something reasonable on the table then, including much less enrichment than Iran has today, but without Iranian enrichment being permanently subject to a EU3 veto, a deal would have been reached then. That’s what makes me think if the West is going to back of its no enrichment stance today, a deal can be reached.

    I have to add that Obama in 2009 and 2010 was doing no better in getting a deal before the facts on the ground became less favorable than George W. Bush did in 2003 and 2006.

    I also cannot escape the conclusion that if the West is willing to accept 5% enrichment today that is directly tied to Iran’s demonstration of its ability to enrich, stockpile and convert to metal 20% enrichment. Far from a blunder, if a solution is possible now, it is only because Iran forced the issue by showing that the status quo is not going to remain the same, but become progressively worse for the US before an agreement is made – despite both sanctions and covert attacks.

  219. A concerned world citizens says:

    kooshy, very good point you’ve made..This swap, which is not being reported as a swap in the MSM, also shows who controls the FSA(free Syria army)..Turkey supports them politically and military yet they come out to issue voice of condemnations when the FSA bombs civilians..

    What Turkey fails to realize is that Iran’s status in the region wasn’t earned by just piggy-backing on some regional event – like the Arab spring. Iran’s status and influence in the region has been decades, if not centuries old cultivation of cultural, political and economic ties with regional groups..Turkey wants to have that cheaply by pretending to support the Arab spring. Their support for the destabilization effort of Syria has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with oil. You see, a few months ago, Iran, Iraq and Syria signed a $10 Billion deal to build a pipeline from Iran, through Iraq to Syria. This move raised a lot of eyebrows in the region – especially among the reactionary elements. The Arab spring came as a blessing for them to use to destabilize Syria. The calculation was that based on the Libyan script, Syria will also fall in no time. The plan hit a massive brick wall when China and Russia vetoed TWICE!!!

    Their last option is to resort to terrorism..Turkey is very much in the US’s camp in their destabilization effort. Notice that since Tarek Al Hashemi was ousted, the number of high profile bombings in Baghdad has dropped considerably..Now, Al Hashemi was Erdogan and Al Saud’s man in Baghdad. His job was to muddy the waters and make sure Iraq was in constant chaos..He’s now found refuge in Turkey under Erdogan..

  220. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    May 12, 2012 at 2:05 p

    Iran’s popularity among the greater Muslim world and third world population did not come cheap to be easily given away to west or even P5+1 for Iran’s existing right’s to the current format of NPT, this is just what majority of westerners pretend they can’t understand no matter how informed they might be, in my opinion Iran will continue with salami slicing (the bazar version). Iran sees an opportunity to reestablish a Muslim sphere of power, not based on making nuclear armament but based on standing to western established world system so the more it’s seen seating down with worlds powers and rejecting them the more powerful she becomes in her desired constituencies.

    The news is out that Iran got two Turkish reporters out from Syria at the same time consequentially two more Iranian pilgrims where released by Syrian insurgents, turkey had to thank Iran and learn in hard way that Masjid is not the place to……

  221. A concerned world citizens says:

    Saudi Arabia now wants sovereignty over Bahrain and other Persian Gulf Arab states..Can someone see the dangers ahead? The Al Sauds think they can escape the revolutions in the region by forming one-sided alliances to protect themselves. This won’t end well..


  222. Karl says:


    I agree with you, Iran wont accept being refused certain things according to the NPT. Although I do think that AP would be possible, because if IAEA want to see any site (if Iran sign the AP) they just cant say they want access and will be granted, they will have to show credibile reasons etc which I think should be ok with Iran.
    Then Iran have atleast not accepted being refused its rights to enrich.

  223. Karl says:


    Like Iraq sanctions or Cuba sanctions the goal is regime change. Why do you still think there is sanctions on Cuba?

  224. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 12, 2012 at 11:30 am


    Iranians will not accept any formal restrictions beyond NPT.

    They will not sign AP; not for many years.

  225. Arnold Evans says:
    May 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I agree there are some encouraging signs, and I like especially this sentence from Ignatius:

    “And by defining the activities that are part of building a nuclear weapon, it would fill a gap in the existing Non-Proliferation Treaty — and could be applied to other nations, not just Iran.”

    Ambitious. Nonetheless, if somehow achieved, it might well put an end to arguments whose inconclusiveness I consider to be very dangerous for Iran. I’ve long felt it would be better for both sides to fill this “NPT enforcement gap” with details that implement the NPT in ways not addressed by Safeguards Agreements, even though the gap-filling would require Iran to accept additional restrictions and greater intrusiveness by IAEA inspectors (including the Additional Protocol and “new” Code 3.1, but going beyond them with respect to some military activities – especially those of the “only one possible purpose” variety).

    The historic focus of Safeguards Agreements on nuclear fuel – as distinguished, say, from nuclear-weapons-focused R&D and weapon-component manufacturing – has yielded a dangerous impasse. Some who sincerely believe they are promoting Iran’s best interests argue that Iran properly may (and should, a few insist) fill this “NPT enforcement gap” by performing nuclear-weapons R&D, even by building nuclear weapons right up to the “gun without bullets” stage. Keep the West guessing, the rationale appears to be – leave it worried that Iran might be able to build a bomb on short notice. That is the best way, this argument goes, to ensure that Iran does not get pushed around by the West.

    Others (I, for example) caution that this broad interpretation of the NPT is not in Iran’s best interests because it relies too much on acknowledged gaps in the NPT enforcement scheme, assigns far too little weight to genuine fears of the unknown among Americans, and discounts the extent to which such fears are being exploited by those in the US and Israel who press for an attack on Iran before it’s “too late.” It has been fairly simple for these people to persuade the vast majority of Americans that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, the only real debate being over whether the US can and should do anything about it, and, if so, when. The recent threat of an Israeli attack, or even an Israel/US attack, on Iran might not have ended with a whimper if Israel could have pointed to indisputable evidence of even a baby step toward an Iranian nuclear weapon.

    Some members of the second group (I, for example) add that Iran’s acknowledgement of this “fear of the unknown” among Western populations calls for Iran to do more than merely refrain from actual development of nuclear weapons. It calls also for Iran to take affirmative steps to assure those nervous Western populations that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Presently, Iran’s refusal to match the commitment of most (not all) other nuclear countries to the Additional Protocol, or the commitment of all other nuclear countries to the “new” version of Code 3.1, is music to the ears of war-mongers in the US and Israel.

    The real crux of negotiations concerning additional restrictions and more intrusive inspections will be over military-related activities, as the Ignatius article (and the Carnegie study it cites) make clear – not over disclosures called for under the Additional Protocol or new Code 3.1. That is why, if I were Iran, I would have taken those two bones of contention off the table long ago by voluntarily committing to the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1. Neither would impose a significant burden on Iran, and observing them would undercut “false” arguments made by Iran’s opponents that are now accepted by nearly all Americans. I’ll wager, for example, that over 99% of Americans believe that the Additional Protocol would require Iran to have permitted the Parchin inspection recently requested by the IAEA. If Iran had been observing the Additional Protocol when the Parchin-visit issue arose, it could simply have pointed out that the AP does not require Iran (or any other country) to permit such inspections. It would have surprised nearly all Americans to learn this, and at least some of them would have been more receptive to Iran’s main point: that the US is not asking Iran merely to do what other countries do, but, to the contrary, is asking Iran to do much more than other countries do.

    An awareness among Americans that Iran is being asked to do what other countries are not asked to do would enable Iran to push back a bit harder once the negotiations reach the subject matter that really counts: additional restrictions on, and more intrusive inspections of, Iranian military activities and facilities that arguably might relate to nuclear weapons development. As long as Iran stubbornly refuses to observe the AP and new Code 3.1, very few Americans will assign much weight to Iran’s claims that military-related restrictions and inspections are unfair. Probably close to no Americans understand that other countries’ military facilities are not being inspected regularly by the IAEA.

    Some argue, of course, that it doesn’t matter what the US people think, but it does. Those who want the US to attack Iran need the support of the American public, and right now they’ve got it – not quite to the point of approving an attack on Iran, but close enough that the smallest of “smoking guns” would probably tip the scales.

    Others argue that the US public is so easily duped that it’s pointless to try to persuade them of Iran’s peaceful intentions. That may be correct, but I don’t think so. If Iran were to start observing the AP and new Code 3.1, and that appeared to make no difference in the attitude of the US public toward Iran, I might change my mind. But I don’t think that will be the reaction of the US public. As should be evident from the recent hopefulness expressed about the upcoming talks, the US public’s attitude is not as inflexible as some assume.

  226. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    That is a misplacd hope.

    France, just like the rest of EU, is squarely on the side of Israel.

    What did France do in 2006 when Lebanon was beng bombed?

    What did EU do?

    Iranians have the correct strategic objectve; ejecting the largely malignant power of US and EU out of the Middle East.

    Look no further than what US-EU, Saudis, and Turks are doing in Syria.

    Mr. Canning: you have to understand that yiur country, US, and the rest of EU is incapable of positive developments in the Middle East.

  227. James Canning says:

    “Iran FM hopes for better ties with France under Hollande”:


  228. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    In fact, 2 weeks ago Iranians publicly stated that they will not build nor field missiles with a range longer than 2000 KM.

    I do not believe that Iranians will accept limitations on research and development of their missiles; they have to compensate for the absence of new airplanes in their airforce.

  229. James Canning says:

    The New York Times today reports that Mitt Romney believes that Islamic Jihadism is based in Iran! Can Romney actually be so ignorant as to believe this? I am afraid the answer is “yes”.

  230. James Canning says:


    The purpose of the sanctions against Iran is to dissuade Iran from building nukes or getting too close to being able to build nukes quickly. The EU is not trying to “destroy” Iran, and Iran would suffer ZERO injury if it stops enriching to 20 percent.

  231. James Canning says:


    Can John Boehner actually be so stupid as to believe Iranian influence in Latin American poses a “threat” to the US? Or does he just pretend?

  232. James Canning says:


    There was no chance the moron in the White House would have made a deal with Iran in 2006. A different, more competent president may well have made a deal. But not George W. Bush.

  233. James Canning says:

    Speaking for the EU in Brussels yesterday, Lacy Ashton said she was optimistic the Baghdad session will be the beginning of the end of the problem, or words to that effect.

  234. Karl says:

    Stephen Walt on Iran, US/Israel relationsship and that one shouldnt count on rapid breakthough with the talks.


  235. Humanist says:


    Re: Your May 12, 11:30 comment

    You might like this audio piece where Scott Horton interviews Gareth Porter on the subject of your post:


  236. Humanist says:

    Critical Threshold in the Iran Crisis

    by HOSSEIN MOUSAVIAN and KAVEH AFRASIABI (source: New York Times )


    In the past whenever there was a chance for the success of the talks warmonger managed to make them fail.

    What about this time?

  237. Arnold Evans says:


    Obama administration stenographer David Ignatius’ ideas of how negotiations will work:

    1) Iran will give up all of its 20% LEU and stop producing more.

    2) Iran will be allowed to enrich to 5%. I have not heard anything about its stockpile. I expect details about this to come later. For example that Iran would be expected to convert the material to a form more difficult to further enrich.

    3) The US will draft a list of activities that are not allowed that extend substantially beyond the safeguards agreement and the AP to activities with no relation to fissile material, such as neutron initiators and ballistic missile research. Pretty much the US intends to take the alleged studies and the Amano report and have Iran commit not do to any of those things in the future.

    4) Nuclear-related sanctions will end. The West will consider Iran accepting the US drafted list of prohibited activities as “the end of Iran’s nuclear weapons program” while Iran continues to enrich.

    This represents a fairly substantial retreat from the previous US position, if the US has really adopted it. We have not seen anything from any administration member that indicates it has.

    My guess, and I disagree with possibly more people here than I agree with, is that Iran could accept something along these terms. The key question would be will the agreement leave the US with a veto over Iranian activities in the nuclear field ten years from now. If so, then I don’t expect an agreement to be reached.

    If Iran can unilaterally back out of any agreement the way it can leave the NPT in the future if circumstances demand, then it would not intolerably constrain future generations of Iranian leaders. If the deal purports to put permanent restrictions and/or US or outside veto-power over Iran’s nuclear industry then such a deal would not be accepted.

    In the short term, it does not look like Fordo will close or that the Obama administration will necessarily ask that it close, but be converted to 5% enrichment.

    We’ll see. The US could have gotten a deal that would have restricted Iran’s nuclear program a lot more in 2006 or in 2009 than Ignatius is describing now.

  238. Rehmat says:

    On Tuesday, speaking at a conference at the US State Department, the Republican Israel-Firster Rep. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, blamed Iran for anti-USrael policies of several Latin American countries. He called Iran’s presence in the region a major and significant threat.

    John Boehner said that a possible rift between the US and Latin America could threaten unity and democracy in the region, saying that, “The US government needs to intensify its cooperation with Latin America to stop Iranian expansion.”

    Referring to the last visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Latin American countries, he said that “the visit of the Persian to the region reveals that Iran has plans to increase its influence in Latin America.”

    For the cunning Zionist, the visits by Israeli President Shimon Peres’ to Brazil and some other Latin American countries doen’t reveal that the Zionist entity is desperately trying to maintain its influence in the US backyard.

    I bet, the bigot Zionists like John Boehner would not mind blaming Tehran for the sex scandal during Barack Obama’s visit to Colombia last month.

    Early this year, Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad visited four Latin American nations – Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.

    The increasing trend of public opinion in Latin America to the progressive governments in the region has considerably declined US and Israeli influence, and thus the governments in Washington and Tel Aviv have lost many of their old regional allies.


  239. Sineva says:

    James comparing the sanctions situation between iran and burma is like comparing salt and sugar,the two nations and the reasons they are under sanctions are without comparison,the only point you seem to be trying to make is that some countries have had sanctions removed so therefore iran might have its sanctions removed if it gave up 20% enrichment,heres an analogy that I`m borrowing from arnold that describes your 20% argument beautifully If my grandmother had a dick she`d be my grandfather

  240. Arnold Evans says:

    The two-person “debate” in Egypt is outrageous. The US and the pro-US colonial dictatorship should be ashamed of themselves. The US more because every American involved grew up in a country that at least claims to place some value on hearing opposing positions before voting, on the voting population being at least minimally informed.

    Fortunately this seems like at worst it will slow but not stop Egypt’s emergence from US colonial control.

  241. Rehmat says:

    US picks anti-Israel Egyptian presidential candidate!

    Personally, I don’t trust Amr Moussa’s anti-Israel or pro-Iran rhetoric considering his past when he used to wine and dine with western puppets in the Arab League.


  242. Karl says:


    If they dont want to see “destruction” why do they work toward this point? What do you think oil embargo, total sanctions mean and the intention is?

    When a about a million iraqis died during those sanctions the western world didnt want regime change, didnt want the “destruction”? All these vast sanctions are acts of war against the nation it being directed against.

    Like other parties they (EU) are looking for regime change in Iran or atleast cut the wings on the Islamic republic which will de facto be equivalent to a regime change. But not because thats their interest but rather because their lack of sovereign interest when it comes to the middle east. They are like other western states under the american umbrella.

  243. James Canning says:


    Lady Ashton appears to have ZERO desire to see Iran “destroyed”. I very much doubt any European head of government wishes to see Iran wrecked.

  244. Castellio says:

    Michael Scheuer in an odd and long interview on CSPAN…


  245. Karl says:


    “But they cannot yet sound re-treat; it will be too much crow to eat now.”

    Exactly, US, UK, France thought they could push this easily and with no problems, now they are stuck in the middle and cant get out. Why? Because their strategy havent been analyzed one bit. They are punching in the dark hoping they will hit the right spot. Useless.

  246. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    US-EU picked one of the 4 historic Muslim states to destroy.

    Trying to repeat the success of wars waged against the governments of the late Dr. Mossadeq and the late Martyred Dr. Allende.

    They failed.

    But they cannot yet sound re-treat; it will be too much crow to eat now.

  247. James Canning says:


    You obviously have no access to the “real story” behind what one reads in newspapers. Hague wanted to improve relations with Iran, but this obviously required an end to Iranian enrichment to 20 percent.

  248. James Canning says:


    My point in noting that sanctions against Burma are being removed, was simply to show that sanctions can be removed.

    Yes, the case with Iran is very different. Not least because the Israel lobby controls the US Congress.

  249. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    It is a grave mistake to deal with Iran on basis of analogy with countries such as Burma or Libya.

    It is like treating France in an analogous manner to Romania or UK to Argentina.

    As long as that thinking previals among US-EU planners this confrontation will continue.

    US-EU leaders have to see their carefully and cunningly constructred Siege War Against Iran crumble before changing tack.

  250. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Outlines of cease-fire deal.

    That is all.

  251. Karl says:


    Sorry I have just declared with Hague’s own words so my comprehending is fine. It seems that you had this image of Hague that I proved to be completely wrong and false, this would be my final comment on this non-debate since there is no point arguing if you wont accept facts on the ground.

    Hague even have problem saying an attack on Iran without any mandate would be a war of aggression.

  252. James Canning says:


    Much of Cordesman’s revenue stream comes from arms manufacturers and the American military. One way or another. So, he has a strong bias in favor of enlarging the problem rather than seeking to help have it “go away”.

    Does FYI have any comments on the piece by David Ignatius that you linked yesterday?

  253. James Canning says:


    Have you watched events unfold in Burma (Myanmar) over the past year? Sanctions are being suspended or eliminated, and the country’s economy is benefiting.

  254. James Canning says:

    “P5+1 should consider Leader’s fatwa against nuclear bombs:Top cleric”


  255. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    That aim is out of reach for him.

    Peace with UK will not be reached until UK breaks with US-EU coercive diplomacy/Siege War against Iran.

    That is years – if not decades – into the future.

    Mr. Hague will not be in office to see it.

  256. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I read his assessment to basically document in detail that Iranians have the scientific, technical, managerial, and industrial capability to build nuclear weapons.

    Which is what some Iranian officials have already asserted.

    Thus, a non-nuclear Iran is not an achievable goal from the perspective of non-proliferation.

  257. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Regarding Dr. Cordesman’s assessment that you linked


    The way I read it: 20% etc. is irrelevant; Iranians cannot be prevented from building nuclear bombs if their leaders determine that such weapons are strategically necessary.

    Key statement reads: “…need for incentives strong enough to motivate Iran to give up its nuclear efforts in spite of its broader strategic and military needs….”


    My comment:

    While Dr. Cordesman tends to be one of the more knowledgable, non-ideological, and sober analysts out there, it just goes to show what can happen to you if you feel your career depends on toeing a particular line.

    Cordesman’s assessment is littered with the word “compartmented.” He is basically saying Iran’s many technical universities, industrial base, administration & management acumen, together with its defense industries constitute ‘front’ organizations for a nuclear development program. And, he impugns that published literature by Iranian scientists on high-voltage bridge wire, etc. is all designed to make the various aspects of this ‘program’ seem innocently academic.

    Now if Iranian’s tremendous number of published scientific research papers were mostly of relevence to devalopment of a nuclear weapon, then fair enough I guess. But surely Cordesman knows that is not the case. If anything, it would seem rather odd if Iran was pursuing every other social, scientific, and engineering field of research and left an empty “compartment” for those areas that could be construed as dual use.

    Cordesman also talks about how understandable it is that the evidential material remains secret and classified. I have to wonder if the material is also kept secret from Mr. Clapper, and Mr. Paneta who assert unambiguously that there is no active nuclear program in Iran.

    He then goes on to talk about Iran’s military strategic need for nuclear bombs. As you know I strongly disagree with this theory. I think Iran is invulnerable to any form of aggression except for being nuked. Developing a nuclear weapon is to paint a bull’s eye on Tehran. I see no circumstances where Iran would escalate a confrontation with anyone to a nuclear duel, obviating the need for weapon that you’d never use.

    I’d like to hear your and others’ thoughts.

  258. James Canning says:


    When I refer to “the moron in the White House”, the reference is always to George W. Bush. It did not even occur to the moron in the White House, that it was idiotic to denounce Iran as a member of the “Axis of Evil” after Iran helped the US to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan.

  259. James Canning says:


    William Hague wanted an improvement in UK relations with Iran, when he entered the Foreign Office. Full stop. You apparently have difficulty comprehending that Hague saw an improvement in UK relations with Iran as being a good thing for Britain.

  260. James Canning says:


    You should read Philip Giraldi’s comments about Ron Paul’s effort to stop yet more foolish American “support” of Israel. I linked them yesterday (“Billions for Defense (of Israel)”).

  261. James Canning says:


    In 2001-02, Iran sought to restoree normal relations with the US and offered to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders. The moron in the White House, and his incompetent National Security Advisor (Condoleezza Rice), bungled the opportunity.

  262. fyi says:


    This is what US-EU want in Iran – a sharia state in which nothing gets done and is subject to US whims:


    [Gas is there in Iran…]

  263. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Yes, the major aim has been the destruction of the Islamic Republic.

    Many of the tactics used in the siege war against Iran were first mentioned in the novel “The Clash of 1979”.

    Here we really have another case of Life imitating Art.

  264. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    There was an offer by Mr. Bush – in March of 2004 – to personally meet with an Iranian representative that had been given the power to neogiate with US on all issues between the 2 countries.

    This offer was verbally conveyed to Mr. Rouhani by Mr. Al Baradei.

    Iranians declined; their policy was not to negogiate with US.

  265. Rehmat says:

    The GOP presidential hopeful, Rep. Ron Paul, has angered pro-Israel lobby groups once again by challenging the H.R. 4133. On May 9, 2012, he opposed the bill in the House as it’s in the interest of Israel’s military expansionism rather than the interests of the United States in the Middle East.

    “This bill will not help the United States, it will not help Israel, and it will not help the Middle East. It will implicitly authorize much more US interventionism in the region at the time when we cannot afford the foreign committments we already have. It more likely will lead to war against Syria, Iran, or both. I urged my collegues to vote against this bill“.


  266. Unknown Unknowns says:

    kooshy says:
    May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Yes, thank you, Kooshy Jaan. I am well and leaving on a 4-day trip to Isfahan with Ali Stone. I’ll touch base upon my return.

  267. Karl says:


    2007-2012 he have taken the same position. These are facts, his own words so end this debate now.

    1. 2007 Hague calling for tougher sanctions.

    2. 2007 Hague calls for sanctions on Iran and will not rule out a brittish attack on Iran

    3. 2008 Hague calls for more sanctions and working towards an oil embargo.

    Also you called some people morons in america, well there are as big morons in UK, EU too because all of them have the same agreement on Iran.

  268. James Canning says:


    Khatami tried to improve relations with the US. Regrettably, a moron occupied the White House. A moron with a grossly incompetent National Security Advisor (Condoleezza Rice).

  269. James Canning says:

    I recommend Philip Giraldi’s “Billions for Defense (of Israel)”:


  270. Karl says:


    Is there any point having a discussion with you if you cant accept facts? This isnt the first time “20% argument” and now the “hague argument”. What is your purpose?

  271. James Canning says:


    The assessment by David Ignatius that you linked is sound, in my view.

  272. James Canning says:


    Have you read any comments by Iranian leaders, the extent that the US is evil and Iran will not deal with evil? Or words to that effect? When Iran of course will deal with the US and would prefer normal relations.

    William Hague wanted better relations with Iran. When Hague entered the Foreign Office. Full stop.

    If Iran enriched to 20 percent, good relations between UK and Iran were and are impossible.

  273. James Canning says:


    I agree Iran will have accomplished something significant, if the P5+1 accept Iranian enrichment to 5%.

  274. James Canning says:


    I take it Cordesman is claiming Iran is trying to build nukes, or getting ready to try to build them?

  275. Rd. says:


    if true, perhaps Al thani has bit a bit too much.. The so called [Persian] Gulf [un]Cooperation council meetings should be interesting!!!

    “Failed Qatari coup attempt in Kuwait”


  276. fyi says:


    Dr. Cordesman’s assessment:


    The way I read it: 20% etc. is irrelevant; Iranians cannot be prevented from building nuclear bombs if their leaders determine that such weapons are strategically necessary.

    Key statement reads: “…need for incentives strong enough to motivate Iran to give up its nuclear efforts in spite of its broader strategic and military needs….”

  277. BiBiJon says:


    Don’t leave me! (to borrow Karl’s delightful plea0

    My real point, which I do not wish you to skirt (or squirt) around, is that Iran got nothing in 2002-2005 (Khatami/Rohani period) by taking western ‘concerns at face-value and adopting AP, suspending enrichment, giving access to military sites, etc. In fact, not only did Iran fail to fill the ‘confidence’ gap, they wound up whetting western appetite for even more (humiliating) restrictions.

    One can only persist at a dead-end strategy for so long. Iran changed tact. They realized the west was pretending it was ‘concerned’, and really the whole thing was pretextual. So, whatever the west waxed ‘concerned’ about, Iran did even more of it. This new tact seems to have paid off. The ‘serious’ talk in town has now shifted to an NPT-framed negotiation which as per Ignatius leaves Natanz and its 50,000 centrifuge capacity off the negotiating table.

    It seems to me, based on this success, Iran ough to enrich to 95% to cure western concerns about 20% enrichment, and she ought to build 10 more bomb-proof facilities, to help the west get over Fordo.

    To recognize your contributions, I’d like to name this mode of escalation — taking a peek at the pool from the high diving board sure helps eventually taking the plunge from the lower diving board, with understandable sense of relief — the Canning method.

  278. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Ghable Shoma Ro Nadasht

    I hope you are feeling better

  279. Karl says:


    I think your very insincere and I dont understand what you are trying to achive. Here I tell you what Hague said 2008, his own words and you keep repeating otherwhise. Just admit that you were wrong on this case.

  280. BiBiJon says:


    Chief government stenographer at WaPo, David Ignatius, is more likely to be correct on the government thinking, and accordingly be preparing the public for the pre-scripted deal than ‘some’ commenter here.


  281. James Canning says:


    I have welcomed the apparent change of position by “the press”, at least in some quarters.

    You may have noticed a number of commenters on this site claim the US and Israel will not allow Iran to enrich to 5%.

  282. BiBiJon says:

    A vague attempt at a meaningful and satisfying conversation with a comment squirter

    I’d mused:

    James Canning, better than most, has illustrated how by enriching to 20%, suddenly 5% enrichment became less dangerous, and even suddenly acceptable.

    It isn’t many cries of wolf ago that a single cascade of 164 centrifuges unleashed the western dogs. But, today because of Fordo, you never hear Natanz’s 8,000 centrifuges.

    I propose to christen the next Iranian step as the ‘Canning’ step: enrich to 95% to cure all the paranoia about 20%.

    James Canning says:
    May 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm


    Is Iranian enrichment to 5% “suddenly acceptable”? It isn’t to Aipac. Or to Israel.”

    James, read the press. What is the vast majority of pundits across the MSM saying about the likely agreements coming out of the May 23rd negotiating sessions?

  283. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm


    The British did indeed have concerns about growing influence of Germany in the Ottoman Empire in the years leading up to the First World War. German influence proved fatal for the Ottoman Empire.”

    No. Any sane, reasonably objective, and non-UK-firster would say:

    The British did indeed have concerns about growing influence of Germany in the Ottoman Empire in the years leading up to the First World War. British greed and interests proved fatal for the Ottoman Empire, as indeed that unbridled British imperial interest proved “fatal” to a great many innocents.

  284. James Canning says:


    Obama will be in Madison Park (Seattle)on Thrusday, asking $36,000 from people who want to meeet him. Then he goes on to Beverly Hills, where for $40,000 people can meet him. How many of these people toe the Aipac line on Iran?

  285. James Canning says:


    I assumne Dennis Ross deserves credit for wrecking the proposed nuclear fuel exchange.

  286. James Canning says:


    I too strongly supported the deal Turkey and Brazil arranged with Iran, for a nuclear fuel exchange. And Hillary Clinton bungled things badly when she sabotaged the deal.

    Hillary Clinton blundered when she failed to support the British suggestion that the TRR fuel should be sold to Iran.

  287. James Canning says:


    Is Iranian enrichment to 5% “suddenly acceptable”? It isn’t to Aipac. Or to Israel.

  288. James Canning says:


    My emphasis on Iran’s “blunder” is on Iran’s June 2011 announcement it would treble production of 20 percent uranium. This was a blunder no matter how one looks at the matter.

  289. James Canning says:


    War with Iran would be bad for Iran and for the countries involved in the war with Iran. Often both sides lose in a war.

  290. James Canning says:


    Given that I know William Hague sincerely wished to improve UK relations with Iran, when he entered the Foreign Office, why would I “admit” this is not “true”? You claimed Iranian enrichment to 20 percent had nothing to do with wrecking the proposed nuclear exchange. I think your position is unsound.

  291. James Canning says:


    The British did indeed have concerns about growing influence of Germany in the Ottoman Empire in the years leading up to the First World War. German influence proved fatal for the Ottoman Empire.

  292. Rehmat says:

    The other day I came across an interesting article by Rev. Howard Bess, entitled Hiding the True Jesus in which he challenges Christian dogma about Jesus, Christianity and the Gospels. In my comments, I tried to explain that some of Rev. Howard Bess narratives of the life and Jesus’ message are closer to Holy Qur’an and Muslims’ views of the historical Jesus.

    Howard says that Jesus was not a non-violent rabbi who grew up in Galilee in Northern Palestine – but a radical supporter of the 99% sheep against the 1% fat cats.

    “Jesus was a social and political radical, an advocate for the poor. Jesus had no regard for the rich and made his fateful trip to Jerusalem to rally opposition to the protectors of this aristocratic system,” says Howard.

    Howard also confirms that Jesus never preached the separation of politics from religion – and those who believe otherwise are not true followers of Jesus.

    “Those who today want to separate politics, social ethics and issues of wealth and poverty from religion are not following the lead of Jesus from Nazareth,” wrote Howard.

    The so-called “political Islam” is one of many WMDs the pro-Israel groups have been using against Muslims. Islam doesn’t separate Church from the White House. In Qur’anic teachings, the rulers and the scholars at mosques have to be God-fearing individuals who serve fellow citizens than serving the Wall Street or Israel Lobby (AIPAC). In fact, political activism is a major tenet of Islam.

    Howard also says that the four Christian Gospels were not written by Jesus’ disciples but people who stole their names – and who never met or heard Jesus in person.

    “Jesus’s disciples were not writers and none of the gospel writings can be traced to them. The gospels that we have in the Bible are collections of oral traditions reduced to writing and enlarged by unknown writers two generations after the death of Jesus,” says Horward.

    Howard agrees with many Judeo-Christian and Islamic scholars that Christianity was created by St. Paul and not Jesus.

    “The idea that Jesus was a universal sacrifice for the sins of the whole world was a theological construction of Paul, who never knew Jesus and had little knowledge of his life. Indeed, in Paul’s many writings, he never indicates any awareness of the life of Jesus or his teachings,” wrote Howard.

    However, Rev. Howard Bess, who is a retired US Baptist minister, has made the usual historic mistake by calling Jesus and his community members as “Jews”. In those days, the followers of Moses’ Law were known as Hebrew tribes or Israelites – but not Jews


  293. kooshy says:

    Turkey Ups Oil Imports from Iran in March

    Thursday, 10 May 2012

    Turkey has sharply increased its crude oil imports from Iran, dismissing the US-led oil embargo on the Islamic Republic, data shows, Press TV reported.

    Turkey’s oil imports from Iran topped 270,000 bpd in March. The figure is almost triple the 100,000 bpd, or 401,349 tons, which Turkey imported in February.

    Statistics on the Turkish Statistical Institute website indicate that the country imported 1.174 million tons of Iranian crude in March, representing the highest monthly purchase of Iranian crude by Turkey since July 2011, Hurriyet Daily News wrote.


  294. kooshy says:

    Energy key to poor outlook for Turkey
    By Robert M Cutler

    “Turkey’s economy “is fairly closed, with exports accounting for a small share of GDP (about 24% in 2011)”, S&P said, referring to gross domestic product. It noted the current account deficit is large and highly dependent on short-term financing from outside Turkey. As a result, the country is particularly vulnerable to sudden financial account outflows and refinancing risks, S&P warned.”

    “Gas accounts for 50% of Turkey’s electricity generation and 31% of the primary energy supply (oil accounts for 28%). There is an intimate relationship between Turkish growth and the sustainability of energy supply. In particular, Turkey is a relatively energy-intensive economy, which takes a disproportionate hit when global energy prices rise.

    Every $1,000 of Turkish GDP requires 0.26 ton of oil equivalent, whereas the average for the 34 developed countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is 0.18. Energy demand and electricity demand may continue to grow as much as 7% per year as they have done recently”


  295. imho says:

    kooshy says:
    May 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    One can’t stop laughing of these clowns

    Britain seeks delay to EU’s Iran ship insurance ban…

    With Indian and Chinese asking for their government to insure those tankers, the City has much to lose financially and also this will be another example on how to avoid “the system” and get around it. Just like another lesson on how to avoid paying in Dollar for international exchanges in light of Iran accepting Rupee from India for her oil purchase that Iran will use to buy Indian goods (wheat, rice, etc.). Kind of reinventing the international trade. WWI was all about that, when Germany tried to avoid paying British insurance companies to export her industrial goods by the sea by projecting to build the Berlin/Baghdad railway; a bit too much for the British to swallow.

  296. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2012/05/rub-a-dub-at-parchin-in-iran-.html

    The New York Times has a typically one-sided and frantic report about how Iran is supposedly decontaminating Parchin military base with water, according to ISIS and David Albright.

  297. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I made no such claim, and I think you are confusing comments by different posters here.

    However, on the military issue, what makes you so sure (if indeed you are sure) that a war would not be in Iran’s favour?

  298. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    “The UK is the strongest and most reliable ally of the US, in military matters. Who would doubt this?”

    No one. A bit like man’s best friend…

  299. Karl says:


    “William Hague supports non-proliferation of nukes, and reduction in numbers of nukes held by countries armed with nukes. This was his position in 2008 also. I think Hague saw sanctions against Iran as helping to prevent Iran’s building nukes.”

    More stuff that makes no sense.
    1. You said Hague wanted good relations with Iran but because Iran “blundered” by enriching what they are allowed to, Hague took a hard stance. This I provede to be wrong because as early as 2008 (maybe even earlier) Hague were talking about harder sanctions and an oil embargo, I proved you wrong because at this time Iran didnt even enrich 20% (and even if they did, it were there right).
    2. There is no proof Iran is working on nukes.

    Why not just admit that you were wrong and end this hague-wanted-good-relations-debate once and for all?

  300. k_w says:

    @James Canning: Regarding the fuel swap, this is what Mohamed ElBaradei says about it:

    “The Iranian fuel proposal did not die when I left office, continuing instead to take its twists and turns. On February 9, 2010, the Iranians declared they would begin enriching LEU up to 20 percent to provide the fuel for their research reactor. Two days later, Ahmadinejad rather inexplicably declared that Iran had become “a nuclear state.” By mid­-month, IAEA inspectors verified that Iran was enriching uranium to 19.8 percent in Natanz.

    But a more positive development was evolving behind the scenes. After several months’ delay, Tehran was warming to the suggestion of a fuel swap that would feature interim storage of Iran’s LEU in Turkey. In April, Obama wrote directly to Brazilian president Lula da Silva—in a letter that was later leaked to the press — urging that any fuel swap include the measure of storing the fuel “in escrow” in Turkey. I remained in occasional contact with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Turkey, fully supporting this new arrangement.

    On May 17, 2010, in a joint declaration, Iran, Brazil, and Turkey announced they had reached an agreement on a fuel swap. Iran would send twelve hundred kilograms of LEU to Turkey, in a single shipment, to be held in escrow while Iran’s research reactor fuel was being fabri­cated. It was a leap forward — particularly because it signaled the willing­ness of new players, Turkey and Brazil, to take an active role in resolving the diplomatic impasse.

    But the very next day, in a masterstroke of diplomatic futility, the P-5 + 1 announced that they had reached agreement on a fourth Security Council resolution to escalate sanctions on Iran for not bringing its enrichment program to a halt. Hillary Clinton called the fuel swap deal with Turkey and Brazil a “transparent ploy” on Iran’s part to avoid new sanctions.”

    Mohamed ElBaradei: “Age of Deception”, p. 312.

  301. Unknown Unknowns says:


    Thank you for your excellent post regarding Gavner James of RFI. It is “spot on, old chap” as he would say, and it gave me a big laugh and a couple of chuckles to boot. I think your observation and analogy is an excellent one, and that the West generally is suffering from this Gavner James of RFI Syndrome. The world has changed, and they still desperately cling to the notion of their 17th and 18th century heyday of superiority. A large majority of Syrians have voted for a new constitution and for new parties being represented in parliament, a UN peace process has been implemented, and yet that desperate shill Susan Rice says that she wants to “put pressure” to being about “regime change”. This “pressure” is nothing short of financing vile and desperate acts of sheer terror, and all this in the name of “democracy”. It is patent absurdity and the only place it has any purchase on reality is in the mind of Uncle Quixote, but there you have it.

    Similarly, Uncle Quixote keeps talking about this campaign for which he is constantly ‘donning’ his rusty coat of armor, whereas the reality is that if he was foolish enough to start on such an adventure, the absolute minimum that would happen in the very first week is that the 18-berth oil supertanker pier at Ra’s Tanura would be destroyed, instantly cutting off the daily flow of 4 or 5 million barrels of Saudi crude. That’s the absolute minimum. What is possible and I would say probable and even highly likely is that the war that would ensue between Iran and Saudi Arabia would result in the break-up of “Saudi” Arabia, with Bahrain and Qatif (the Shi’a oil-rich region on the southern cost of the Forever Persian Gulf) allying with Uncle Mad Mullah, the Hejaz being liberated by the Egyptian military (who finally will have found a pair of balls), the Zaydi Shi’a of Asir joining the Yemen, and the AAl as-Sa’ud and AAl ash-Shaykh Houses crawling back under the Najdi rock out of which they crawled, the House of ar-Rashid hot on their tail, supplied and financed by the Mad Mullahs.

    Watch for more Quixotic behavior as the cold war/ war of attrition/ cease fire takes its toll on Sanch Panza, the Don’s Spanish sidekick. Don’t touch that dial!

  302. kooshy says:

    Sorry the last comment was meant to be an e mail and not a comment here

  303. kooshy says:

    Dr. Omidsalar Salam

    I thought this may interest you

    Perceptions of Persia

    The Persistent & Pervasive Orientalism of the West’s Iran Policy


  304. Castellio says:

    Did Karl actually write to James “Don’t leave me”?


  305. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy says:
    May 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    kooshy, re the latest underwear bomber — Hollywood writers guild must have a satellite office at Langley.

    The story is coming out in bits and pieces. First, the arrest; second, the undetectable bomb (be afraid, be very afraid); third, the double agent. Tomorrow, look for a revelation that the eyelash of an Iranian was found on a copper wire (who ever heard of a CIA plot without an Iran connection?)

  306. Rehmat says:

    US: ‘How we honor thee crooks’

    Stories of three Zionist Jewish crooks; former Citigroup CEO, Sanford Weill, former Wall Street robber Bernard Madoff and former president of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, who helped Israelis to steal 741 pounds of highly enriched uranium suitable for weapons production.


  307. BiBiJon says:


    James Canning, better than most, has illustrated how by enriching to 20%, suddenly 5% enrichment became less dangerous, and even suddenly acceptable.

    It isn’t many cries of wolf ago that a single cascade of 164 centrifuges unleashed the western dogs. But, today because of Fordo, you never hear Natanz’s 8,000 centrifuges.

    I propose to christen the next Iranian step as the ‘Canning’ step: enrich to 95% to cure all the paranoia about 20%.

  308. James Canning says:


    William Hague supports non-proliferation of nukes, and reduction in numbers of nukes held by countries armed with nukes. This was his position in 2008 also. I think Hague saw sanctions against Iran as helping to prevent Iran’s building nukes.

  309. Karl says:


    Dont leave me. In 2008 Hague urged stronger sanctions and wanted an oil embargo. Why?

  310. James Canning says:


    You appear to be unaware I advocate strong pressure on Israel to sign the NPT and get rid of all Israeli nukes asap.

  311. James Canning says:


    I too have a very large concern that Aipac virtually controls American foreign policy in the Middle East.

    But your basic contention appears to be that Iran can do what the NPT allows, and that is the end of the matter. Not correct.

  312. A concerned world citizen says:


    You seem to suggest that Obama and his advisers do not understand the NPT. Not a sound contention.

    No, that’s not what I said..But if you’re bringing it up, then yes – Obama and his advisers, like yourself, seem to be deliberately going against or ignoring the NPT altogether. Realistically speaking, as far as the US is concerned, the NPT is DEAD. They’ve become a law unto themselves when it comes to the NPT.

    For how could it be that the US could sign a major nuclear deal with India – knowing full well that India isn’t even a party to the NPT and has refused to sign or be part of it. Dito Israel. The hypocritical stand taken by the likes of yourself and Obama’s advisers only exposes their lack of credibility and further weakens their position every time. You can perpetuate a lie some of the time but you can’t keep it going all the time.. Sooner or later, the wheels will come off.

    Lets face it, the US has overplayed her hand in the Iran nuclear saga. All the actors involved, who know full well that all the accusations against Iran as fabricated, want out. But the US is incapable of doing that due to AIPAC control over Washington.

    Anyway, thought you might want to read this.

    India, Iran Sign Trade Deals:

    So much for “tighter” sanctions…

  313. Jay says:


    This is an excerpt of the first few lines of the article published by Telegraph in 2010. It is based on a leaked document. It summarizes the submissive nature of British policies.

    The documents show that senior Conservative politicians met with members of President Barack Obama’s administration before the election to promise a “much more pro-American” regime.
    The Tories, including some who are now members of the Cabinet, promised to buy more US weapons and to “fight together” more closely in future.
    The documents suggest a faint ridiculing of Britain’s attitude to the US, with politicians described as “paranoid” about maintaining the “special relationship” with the US.

    Asking me about Clinton amounts to deflection – however, the answer to your question is: Mrs. Clinton was wrong.

    I was not in the room when Lady Ashton got her marching orders. Like all discussions, some evidence of action is based on inference based on general behavior rather than direct observation. The current British political elite does not have an independent foreign policy. That much is evident from the observations.

  314. James Canning says:


    What are the “orders” you claim are being given to Lady Ashton? Not to accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower?

  315. James Canning says:


    Do you think Hillary Cinton was foolish for not backing Hague’s wish for TRR fuel to be sold to Iran? Simple question.

  316. James Canning says:


    You seem to suggest that Obama and his advisers do not understand the NPT. Not a sound contention.

  317. A concerned world citizen says:

    James, do you understand what the NPT means or what it’s all about? Your constant harping of 20% makes me believe otherwise. In fact, under the NPT, Iran could even enrich to whatever percentage they want as long as it’s under IAEA supervision.

    Iran’s continued stay in the NPT/ IAEA should be seen as Iran’s way of providing the West a way out of the mess they created themselves. If they’re wise, they’ll seize that opportunity and strike a deal fast. The Mullahs have been really patient with this whole game for far too long and I’d suggest it’s better the West don’t push them far enough to re-Fatwa their stance on nukes. North Korea couldn’t tolerate the nonsense and withdrew their membership from the NPT. We all know what happened next. They detonated the bomb..The US’s been barking hollow ever since.

    James, please give the 20% a rest. We’ve got you point. In fact, if you’re to get a dollar for every 20% related posting you’ve made, you’d be a millionaire.

    Anyway, off topic..It turns out the recent Al-Qaeda bomb plot suspect was a CIA informant. Who would’ve thunk??? I mean, how sick and twisted can this get? So the US government agencies plot their own terror plots and then end up foiling them. You can’t make this up. You gotta keep the fear factor pumping in order to control the masses, y’know. I’m begging to believe Al-Qaeda is good for defence contractors ;) What else will they do if peace broke out? Sell broccolis?

  318. Jay says:


    In my view, Britain’s policies follow a paradigm exemplified by Tony Blair’s pursuit of accommodating US edicts.

    I illustrated that by example, showing you how Mr. Hague bends with the winds of Mrs. Clinton – he thinks Iran’s use of 20% isotopes is for civilian medical use and he would not mind selling Iran such, until Mrs. Clinton is against it, then he is against it!

    Lady Ashton is part of British government apparatus. She follows the orders of her boss. If her boss needs to get in line with US plans, she needs to get in line.

    I don’t mean to be insensitive to your vision of your government and of course Britain is not the only country that must follow the edicts. Nonetheless, this is the reality of the current political order.

  319. Karl says:


    Sorry but you are simply not listening, I just say what Hague himself have said himself.

  320. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    “US national debt will go up an easy $1 trillion if there is war with Iran. Doesn’t this concern you?”

    I am more concerned as to why you ask such stupid questions?

  321. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela says:
    May 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Fior , with few more “designer” underwear bombers that can become a seen at LAX if not already

  322. James Canning says:


    US national debt will go up an easy $1 trillion if there is war with Iran. Doesn’t this concern you?

  323. James Canning says:


    Again, I think you are dead wrong about the core issues. Dead wrong. I know Hague wanted better relations between the UK and Iran. But this was and is impossible if Iran enriches to 20 percent.

    In fact, I welcome a strong and secure Iran.

  324. BiBiJon says:

    From http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/18773-perceptions-of-persia.html

    xplicit Orientalism has long been a hallmark of the West’s condescending and patronizing attitude towards Iran.

    In their second volume of “Major Problems in American Foreign Relations,” published in 2010, Dennis Merrill and Thomas Paterson explain that Western cultural representations of the Third World are so steeped in “‘orientalist’ tones – exotic yet primitive, weak, female, childlike, racially inferior, and in need of supervision” that “Cold War era policymakers were themselves socially conditioned and often viewed others through the Orientalist lens” and “tended to perceive fiery Third World nationalists…as emotionally unstable, politically immature, and threatening to U.S. interests.” Consequently, “[t]hese perceptions justified policies designed to control Third World nationalism and equated self-interested U.S. intervention with parental or civilizational duty.”

  325. Fiorangela says:

    memorable quotes

    “squirt your latest commentitoes”

    h/t BiBiJon

  326. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm


    Iran’s announcement last June that it would treble production of 20 percent uranium brought on the latest sanctions. You seem to think Iran was wise to bring on more sanctions. I disagree.”

    James, in the time it took you to squirt your latest commentitoes, the US national debt went up a few million, and many people got murdered in the land of the free. Are you claiming your comments are a wise use of time?

  327. Karl says:


    I am not talking about 2010, I am talking about 2008, 2009 (if you want).
    Now again, did Iran enrich at 20% in 2008? Of course not so you must recognize that this has nothing to do with enrichment.

  328. James Canning says:


    I personally have no great concern about Iran’s enriching to 20 percent.

  329. James Canning says:


    Are you actually claiming the P5+1 might accept Iranian enrichment to 20 percent?


    You pointed out that William Hague wanted Hillary Clinton to support selling of TRR fule to Iran by “the West”. Was this a good idea on the part of Hague, in your view?

  330. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I am getting worried if this 20%U business is not over soon, Gavner James (RFI’s resident Don Quixote) will mount an attack to sink the Iranian navy and air force, if unsuccessful this will be a disaster for some of us in RFI who are being continually entertained by his 20%U posts.

    “James Canning, the protagonist of the RFI, is a British country gentleman, living in an unnamed section of UK. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, his reading of Financial Times of chivalry in excess has had a profound effect on him, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties. In essence, he believes every word of these western media outlets of chivalry to be true though, for the most part, the content of these media sources are clearly fiction. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than chivalry, are intact. He decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armor, renames himself ” Gavner James of RFI” and names his skinny horse “P5+1”.


  331. James Canning says:


    Iran’s announcement last June that it would treble production of 20 percent uranium brought on the latest sanctions. You seem to think Iran was wise to bring on more sanctions. I disagree.

  332. James Canning says:


    You claim I have provided “no rationale” for saying Iran should be able to enrich to 5% but not to 20%. Remarkable. How many times have I said, categorically, that if Iran continues to stockpile 20% U, it will have its navy sunk and its air force destroyed entirely.

    I recall your arguing that Iran might be able to keep 60 kg of 20 percent uranium.

  333. James Canning says:


    You appear to forget that R S Hack also has said the Iranian enrichment to 20 percent wrecked the proposed nuclear exchange. The Israel lobby opposed any deal with Iran, and it opposes any improvement of US (or UK) relations with Iran.

    I think you should be able to see there was little sense in exporting Iran’s 3.5% U, if Iran was producing 20% U. The idea behind having Iran export its 3.5% U was to make sure Iran did not enrich to 20% or higher.

  334. James Canning says:


    You claimed Iran was not enriching to 20 percent in 2010. I replied that Ahmadinejad in February 2010 announced that Iran was enriching to 20 percent.

    The question was: Did William Hague favor improved relations between the UK and Iran, when he took office two years ago. Answer: yes.

  335. James Canning says:


    Are you claiming to be “certain” that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, Iran will have its navy sunk and its air force destroyed?

  336. James Canning says:


    What are the “marching orders” you claim have been given to Lady Ashton? I think she favors allowing Iran to enrich to 5% or lower.

  337. James Canning says:


    Obama and his generals were very sceptical about intervening in Libya. Some Americans (and others) who wanted US military intervention in that country, encouraged France and Britain to take the lead.

  338. James Canning says:


    The UK is the strongest and most reliable ally of the US, in military matters. Who would doubt this?

  339. James Canning says:


    What “strategic calculations” by Iranian leaders? Iran wants the sanctions lifted, and I doubt there is any confusion on the 20 percent enrichment issue.

  340. Jay says:

    Karl says:
    May 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Note the absence of comments from the EU. Ashton has her marching orders. Bibi knows this but his position is a political one – he has repeatedly demonstrated knowhow in using these extreme positions as a political tool.

    However, with respect to the broader picture, I have to reiterate that the current round of negotiations is purely tactical. US/EU is buying time for conversion of equipment, avoidance of economic disaster in EU, elections in US, etc. Iran is fully aware of this and is planning accordingly. I expect this phase to last for months and not years.

  341. Unknown Unknowns says:


    As you well know, the reason that we are enriching to 20% is that we are working on perfecting the technology to power our next generation of submarines, which will be nuclear powered, so that they can roam as far afield as the Malvinas Islands in case Argentina needs our help 10 years from now with sinking your sole aircraft carrier.

    I’m sorry if that is inconvenient, Gavner.

    Rue, Britania,
    Britania rues the waves!


  342. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Broken-Record Hans-sahn:

    Its a bit rich for a German to call Iranians bigots. Just a tad…

  343. Neo says:

    hans says: May 9, 2012 at 10:21 am


    I am not sure what you mean exactly, but I am not sure that Iran’s involvement in Libya – if that was the case – can be compared to that of the West. What Iran’s calculations may have been is unclear to me, but if they decided to support one side against another without direct military intervention, that would be a totally different type of involvement.

  344. Karl says:

    Oh please.

    Netanyahu: Iran must commit to halt all enrichment in upcoming nuclear talks

    Dont know who are the most pathetic. Ashton that coming out as the puppet she is to Israel or Netanyahu who think he could reject international law and make up own rules for Iran and if not he will start a war.

  345. syntax says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 9, 2012 at 9:22 am
    More croaking hypocrisy from the frogs,still it is good to see nikoleon[sarkozy] hop off to the retirement pond,personally I think that sarkozy and the remaining gang of western leaders should follow the advice of an old russian saying that roughly translates into something like this:
    Go home and f**k your mother!

  346. Rehmat says:

    Israel: ‘Lying is kosher diplomacy’

    On March 3, 2012, Iranian-born Israeli opposition leader in Knesset, Gen. Shaul Mofaz, wrote on his Facebook page: “Listen closely, I will not enter Bibi government. Not today. Not Tomorrow. Not after I take the take the leadership of Kadima on March 28. This is a bad, failing and deaf government, and the Kadima that I will lead will replace it in the next election. Clear enough?“.

    However, on Tuesday, Mofaz and Netanyahu cut a secret deal to form a Kadima-Likud government – and cancel new elections. Today, Mofaz is being sworn-in as vice prime minister and incharge of homefront defence. The merger will give Netanyahu’s government 94 votes in 120-seat Knesset.


  347. hans says:

    Neo says:
    May 9, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Regarding Libya, my understanding is that the US pushed the UK and France to ‘take a lead’. Something about the US being war-weary and close to bankruptcy.

    Iran was in the thick of support for the rats and bigots of the NTC. As I have always said one bigot recognises another bigot!

  348. fyi says:

    kooshy says: May 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    EU is going to sanction itself out of influence and leverage with Iran.

    Iran will go through a very expensive and painful period of adjustment – say five to seven years – as new financial services providers are sought elsewhere or created domestically.

    This is now inevitable.

    Rapproachment with US and EU is a decade out as the inefficacy of sanctions in altering the strategic calculations of Iranian leaders becomes evident.

  349. BiBiJon says:

    If I’d received the the French Legion of Honor in 2008, as John Vincour did from Sarkozy, I too would pen an article about Iran referring to her repeatedly as “mullahland.”

    Frankly though, I appreciate the trash talk from neocon quarters. Nothing speaks louder about their impotence than the kind of language they use. You can spin the demise of Ben-Ali, and Mubarak; you can have doubts about the significance of the BRIC’s refusal to go along with collective punishment of Iranians; one can have two minds about Netanyahu trading war-mongering for help on domestic politics by doing a duet of losers with Mofaz; and all the other setbacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    But there is no other way of interpreting John’s mullah this, and mullah that. The guy is beside himself as the losses mount.


  350. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    You have given a single example of a British refusal to join an American military adventure (formally, around 50 years ago), and another one of a UK-France alliance talking the US into a war (allegedly, last year).

    Something about an exception proving a rule comes to mind, as in every instance in living memory, the UK is always there with the US, even against Europe.

    I remember an episode of ‘yes prime minister’ when they say that the UK only joined the EU treaties to make sure it fails. And if the EU fails – to a manageable level, rather than totally – then the US benefits, and so does the UK, so the calculation went.

    Regarding Libya, my understanding is that the US pushed the UK and France to ‘take a lead’. Something about the US being war-weary and close to bankruptcy.

  351. Neo says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Arnold, I for one am 20% more sure about Iran’s enrichment rights – to whatever levels it likes regardless of what the West says – than I was before James’ arguments. Now my level of certainty stands at 120%.

    Simply put, this is because the hypocrisy of those who are proliferators of nuclear weapons in this world seems to have no bounds.

  352. Neo says:

    kooshy says: May 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Seems the EU sanctions against Iran will result in the rise of Asian shipping insurance companies, and the demise of Europe’s.

    Did someone somewhere decide that the best way to deal with the west’s economic troubles is to make them even worse?

  353. Karl says:


    Makes no sense at all, why wouldnt Iran enich at 20% back in 2010? Its according to the npt.
    Also you fail to understand that this isnt about enrichment. Go back to 2008 at see what Hague said then, stronger sanctions, and talk about an oil embargo. Now, Iran didnt enrich at 20% in 2008 did they?

  354. henry buehler says:

    As the article in the economist said If we are going to blow up that facility in Iran we need to go in through the door because the 8 bombs we will have in June will not do the job. Not that I think reality ever matters.

  355. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    May 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    On February 12, 2010, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran was enriching to 20 percent. This is what wrecked the proposed nuclear exchange.

    That is wrong and either stupid or dishonest. The fuel exchange was wrecked long before February 11, 2010. By November 2009 Iran was consistently saying there were insufficient assurances that once its LEU was exported it would actually get TRR fuel without further concessions. The West, through February 11, 2010 said it had presented a take it or leave it offer.

    When Iran, Brazil and Turkey constructed an arrangement that would have provided more assurances the West publicly said that two problems with that arrangement were that TRR fuel was to be delivered by a definite time and that Iran could retrieve its LEU if the terms of the deal were not met.

    What wrecked the deal, and spurred Iran to enrich to 20% was that the West transparently did not intend to deliver TRR fuel without Iran suspending all enrichment.

    James, these are things you know. I’m almost offended, given the amount of discussion you’ve read here on this issue as it was happening that there is any need to retype it.

    What I don’t understand is why you’re not going to just agree to disagree. You’ve posted hundreds of times asserting that Iran should not have enriched to 20% and should not enrich to 20%. You have not convinced one person yet.

    You admit that unlike you, the parties that Iran is actually negotiating with have not taken the position that 5% enrichment is ok, but 20% is not. You have not provided any rationale for your position that 5% is ok, but 20% is not.

    I’ve noticed that this board is much more tolerant of tedious and repetitive discussions like the one you’ve been having for months during slow news periods. I guess while we wait to see what becomes public in the immediate run-up to Baghdad we can toy with this 20% obsession of yours.

    But what’s in it for you? You’re convincing nobody while you’re raising questions about your honesty, your intelligence and even your mental stability. For what? Why not just say that most people on the board disagree with you about the effects of Iran enriching to 20% and leave it at that?

  356. Rehmat says:

    Israel sabotages NPT conference on ME

    Israeli Hebrew daily Arutz Sheva reported on April 11, 2012 that the UN facilitator, former Finish ambassador to Washington and London, Jaakko Laajava, paid a secret visit to Israel to discuss Israel’s participation in the NPT conference to occur in Helsinki late this year or next year. He did not receive a yes from the Zionist regime.

    On Tuesday, Jaakko Laajava, announced at a meeting in Vienna that the proposed NPT conference on a nuclear free zone in the Middle East looked in doubt as he had yet to secure the needed attendence of all countries in the region.

    As expected, the Zionist-controlled mainstreamed media blamed Iran for the deadlock – claiming that Iran has refused to sit with Israel on the same table.

    Egypt has warned that “conference failure would invite Arab nations to revise” their nuclear policies.

    In 2010, Islamic Republic held its second international conference on a nuke-free Middle East. It was attended by representatives fron 40 states plus United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Tehran conference, as expected, was ignored by the Zionist-controlled western media. The Canadian-American Zionist Jewish Islamophobe, David J. Frum, the man behind Dubya Bush’s notorious ‘axis of evil’ speech, made fun of the conference by calling it “a theater of the absurd“.

    In May 2010, the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) states led by Egypt managed to manoeuvre the US into agreeing to a Middle East conference on a nuclear free zone in the Middle East, to be held in 2012. Nearly 189 nations, signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) backed the plan. The nations in a 28-page document urged the Zionist regime to sign the NPT.

    Israel along with India and Pakistan has refused to sign the NPT to this day. Iran signed the NPT in 1970.

    Israeli prime minister Netanyahu was visiting Canada at that time – he dismissed the plan “deeply flawed” and “hypocritical”.

    “Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation,” claimed Netanyahu in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.

    On May 31, 2010 – BBC posted a headline: “Israel was the big loser in the nuclear review conference in New York – and Iran the big winner. A commentator in the Jerusalem Post said that Egypt had “hit Israel squarely on the jaw” and that the US had thrown Israel a “sucker punch.”

    A significant impediment to the Zionist regime’s signing NPT – which it had long been pressured to do – is a clause in American law that would terminate all aid ($6-14 billion annually) to the Zionist entity admit to having nuclear weapons. However, reports from secret agencies have confirmed that Israel has a stockpile of 400 nuclear bombs.


  357. kooshy says:

    One can’t stop laughing of these clowns

    Britain seeks delay to EU’s Iran ship insurance ban


    Britain to lobby EU to postpone measure until 2013
    UK fears imminent ban could lead to oil price spike
    Britain controls much of ship insurance market

  358. James Canning says:


    On February 12, 2010, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran was enriching to 20 percent. This is what wrecked the proposed nuclear exchange.

  359. James Canning says:


    Of course I read your comment completely. And I am confident William Hague can comprehend that if Iran is unable to buy fuel for the TRR, Iran can make its own. But main point is that Iran should not be stockpiling 20 percent uranium.

    I assume you agree Hillary Clinton was quite foolish not to support Hague in allowing Iran to buy fuel for the TRR.

  360. Jay says:


    did you actually read the comment to the end?!

    Based on Hague’s contradicting statements that I pointed to, it appears that there is a vast incongruence between what his mouth says and what his thoughts are.

  361. REALIST1 says:

    Baird says Iran could build nuclear bomb within months
    Canada’s foreign affairs minister calls nuclear-armed Iran ‘unfathomable’
    By Kathleen Harris, CBC News

    Iran could build a nuclear bomb within months if it decides to weaponize its atomic enrichment program, according to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

    In an interview with CBC’s Power & Politics host Evan Solomon, Baird said he doesn’t believe Iran has made that decision yet — but warned the country could move “very quickly” once it does.

    “When they’re enriching uranium to 20 per cent, when they’ve got the volume of materials.… When you’re putting all the ingredients in front of you, it obviously wouldn’t take long to make the decision to do it,” he said.

    “They’re certainly moving to be able to be in that position, then they could certainly dash to the end which could be done in as few as nine or as many as 18 months.”

    Baird called the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran “unfathomable,” and said it would inevitably lead to nuclear proliferation right across the region, which the minister said is a concern for the entire planet.

    “The real concern is what would it do to security in the region,” he said. “And frankly, Arab states are just as concerned as Israel is with a nuclear-armed Iran…you also look at the potential for proliferation — other countries wanting to acquire nuclear weapons to protect themselves from the threat of Iran.”

    Baird’s comments come as the United States and Europe urged Iran to use upcoming talks with world powers to defuse concerns it has plans to develop nuclear arms — concerns Tehran insists are based on “fake evidence” created to cause the country economic harm.

    While international talks are working to persuade Iran to end its nuclear ambitions, Baird said it remains a huge challenge to “de-escalate” the situation.

    “I’m skeptical of Iran’s willingness to engage in meaningful discussions on this, but let’s take them at their word and let’s go through this diplomatic exercise and hope for the best,” he said.

    “Obviously President [Barack] Obama has said all options are on the table and we’re watching the situation very closely and offering our full support to the diplomatic initiative.”

    “All options” means that nothing is off the table — including a pre-emptive strike against Iran, Baird said. But Canada’s position remains to explore and exhaust all diplomatic efforts, he added.

    Baird also commented on the dramatic power shifts in Greece and France, where voters rejected candidates pushing austerity measures. In France, Socialist François Holland ousted conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with a platform of moving from austerity to restoring growth.

    “Obviously when the economy is sour, governments tend to get defeated,” he said. “Obviously, the situation in Greece is very, very different. Obviously there’s some tough medicine that’s required and sometimes the patient doesn’t like it.”


  362. Karl says:


    Now you are making no sense.
    Iran didnt even enrich uranium at that level in 2010.

  363. James Canning says:


    Maybe I should put it this way. Hague wanted better relations with Iran, provided Iran stopped enriching to 20 percent.

    The editor of a Jewsish magazine claimed Hague and the UK saw Iran as an “enemy”. Huage put out a press release (from UK embassy in Tel Aviv) denying this.

  364. Karl says:

    Thats not correct at all, even before he was elected he was hostile.
    In april 2010 he said for example that he urged stronger sanctions and working towards an oil embargo.

  365. James Canning says:


    My understanding is that the funds are impounded as part of enforcement of the sanctions.

  366. James Canning says:


    William Hague was interviewed by several major UK newspapers after he took office, and in those interviews Hague made clear the UK did not view Iran as “an enemy” and that he sought better UK relations with Iran.

    Obviously it was in the best interests of the UK to achieve better relations with Iran. Why do you think Hague would not see this?

  367. James Canning says:


    William Haque clearly was quite right to urge the US to allow Iran to buy the TRR fuel from “the West”. And Hillary Clinton was foolish not to back the proposal made by Hague.

  368. Jay says:

    On the veracity of statements by Mr. Hague.

    January 22nd, ABC National Radio.
    Hague’s own former Ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton regarding the question of 20% enrichment by Iran: …”20 percent enriched uranium is used in that country’s civilian research reactor to produce isotopes for nuclear medicine.”

    In Britain’s parliament on January 23, a day later, William Hague states:
    “Iran is in defiance of six United Nations Security Council resolutions, which call on it to suspend its uranium enrichment programme and to enter negotiations. Its recent decision to enrich uranium to 20 per cent at an underground site in Qom demonstrates the urgent need to intensify diplomatic pressure on Iran to return to negotiations. The programme has no plausible civilian use, and Iran tried to keep it secret.”

    In fact, during the time Sir Richard was serving Mr. Hague, under the direction of Hague, he had written to the US Secretary of State proposing that Iran be provided with 20 per cent enriched uranium, for civilian use, as part of a diplomatic solution obviating the need for domestic enrichment.

    So, to set the scene….

    William Hague was prepared to give 20% enriched uranium to Iran a year earlier even though he believes that it has no plausible civilian use!

  369. Karl says:

    Hague was hostile even before he got elected in may 2010, I mean just google.

  370. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Why don’t you try to find out and enlighten the rest of us as well?

    [Another example of how shabbily Iran has been treated was the impounding of the Iranian Presidential airplane by the French during Mr. Khatami’s last term.]

  371. Empty says:


    That’s quite alright. The lessons will be repeated either until they are retained or till time is up.

  372. Empty says:

    Another evidence of peace-loving nature of Britain and how it really didn’t support the Vietnam war:

    “The British used head hunters as mercenaries and tortured prisoners. Thompson brought this strategy to Vietnam where it developed into the infamous Strategic Hamlets programme. BRIAM also trained US and South Vietnamese troops at the British Army jungle warfare school in Malaya. From 1962 to 1963, over 300 South Vietnamese troops were trained. ….In summer 1962 Britain mounted a military expedition into Vietnam commanded by Colonel Richard Noone. Noone, an MI6 officer and special forces soldier, was involved in using Malayan and Burmese Defence Force soldiers and mercenaries who spoke the same dialect as some Vietnamese tribes, to act as interpreters between US special forces and South Vietnamese troops and fight against the liberation forces. This was in violation of the Geneva Accords.”

    Excerpt from: FRFI 196 (April/ May 2007)

  373. Castellio says:

    Dien Bien Phu = France’s moment of learning

    Too bad they can’t retain the lesson.

  374. Empty says:

    RE: Britain was and is the most important ally of the US. But Britain and France refused to back the war in Vietnam with troops.

    Yes. Britain is the most peace loving nation on earth.

  375. James Canning says:


    Britain was and is the most important ally of the US. But Britain and France refused to back the war in Vietnam with troops. France warned JFK the US would be wading into a quagmire.

  376. Empty says:

    Another excerpt from the previous source demonstrating how Britain had absolutely no interest in helping the US in Vietnam war. Them Brits are so earnest, sincere, and peace loving. One almost wants to hug them for how adorably gentle they are.

    “‘Other covert aid provided by Britain included secret British air flights from Hong Kong to deliver arms, especially napalm and five-hundred-pound bombs’….However, this recommendation might be possible to implement if the personnel are detached and given temporary civilian status, or are attached to the American Special Forces in such a manner that their British military identity is lost in the US Unit.”

  377. Rd. says:

    Speaking of secret supports…… from SST

    The Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) and the diversion of US government weapons-grade uranium to Israel


  378. Empty says:

    “The myth has long been promoted that Britain refused to send troops to the Vietnam war and played little role in it. The declassified British government files on the war are therefore little short of a revelation, showing that Britain gave important private backing to the US at every stage of military escalation, and also revealing its own covert and military role. The reality is that Britain was complicit in the aggression against Vietnam and shares some responsibility for the massive human suffering that resulted.”

    Excerpt from: M. Curtis (2006), Britain’s Secret Support for US Aggression: The Vietnam War

  379. James Canning says:


    Isn’t the UK’s impounding of those funds part of implementing the sanctions?

  380. James Canning says:

    Financial Times leader today called for Obama to encourage an internatonal effort to seeks ways of achieving stability in Afghanistan, and that the US should not lead that effort. Good advice.

  381. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    We are still waiting for UK to release 1.5 billion pounds of Iranian funds.

    This is an act of a friendly state, no doubt.

  382. James Canning says:


    Israel of course does not want good relations with Iran, and Israel does not want the US to have good relations with Iran. And the Israel lobby prevents good US relations with Iran.

  383. James Canning says:


    You are quite mistaken. William Hague made clear beyond any question, when he took office, that Britain did not view Iran as an “enemy” and wanted better relations.

    Iran blundered by enriching uranium to 20 percent, and then blundered ever worse by trebling such production.

  384. James Canning says:


    You appear to have forgotten that Britain refused to back the US in its foolish military adventure in Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s.

    Cameron talked Obama into backing the Anglo-French military intervention in Libya last year.

  385. Rehmat says:

    Hillary Clinton’s failed mission to India

    US secretary of state, Israel-Firster Hillary Clinton, 64, has just completed her visits to China, India and Bangladesh. The main agenda of her visit to China and India was to convince the BRICS leaders (China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa) to join the US-Israel campaign to isolate Iran from the world community.

    Interestingly, Israeli daily Ha’aretz in its March 28 editorial stated that while trying its best to isolate the Islamic Republic from the world community – Israel itself got isolated from the world community by severing ties with the UN Human Rights Council.

    Speaking at Kolkota Town House meeting moderated by India’s welknown TV journalist Barkha Dutt – Hillary pitched for anti-Iran and anti-Pakistan USrael policies. She warned New Delhi that if it did not reduce its oil import from Iran – the country will face severe US sanctions. She also advised Islamabad to help the US in fighting anti-US feeling and the so-called “Islamist terrorism”.

    Clinton also told her audience that she hope to see a female US president – but that wouldn’t be her as she is not aiming for that post in 2016. Her husband, former president Bill Clinton and many american political analysts don’t believe in her statement – judging by her lies in the past.

    BRICK leaders in their meeting in New Delhi on March 31, declared that they were not bound by US sanctions. They made clear that such unilateralism was not going to help a peaceful international relations. The BRICK leaders, indirectly, declared US and EU sanctions illegal and counterproductive.

    Iran’s oil export of 3.5 billion barrels per day bring in about $100 billion per year. Iran’s non-oil exports are also on the rise. They amounted to $44 billion during last year – a 29% increase.

    China and India are the major importers of Iranian oil. China, India, Iraq and UAE also act as the hub for the re-export of goods to the Islamic Republic.

    Hillary Clinton is part of the powerful pro-Israel lobby groups who keep shouting on top of their lungs that Iran is existential threat to Israel.


  386. Fiorangela says:

    Real Men Go to Tehran,
    part II —

    In February 2009 Giandomenico Picco was the first of the panelists introduced by Haleh Esfandiari at a Woodrow Wilson Center discussion titled, Iran: Lessons from the Past for the Present.”

    Among other accomplishments, Picco negotiated the termination of hostilities between Iraq and Iran.

    Picco began his remarks to the Wilson Center audience by saying,

    “My exposure to Iran never stopped even after I left the UN [in 1992]. I was tempted to say there is no way one could walk out of the country once you walk in, and maybe it is true.”

    Mr. Obama, Go to Iran. Your view of the nation and its people will never be the same.
    Real men go to Tehran.

  387. Fiorangela says:

    Rehmat @ May 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    So. It is true: Real Men go to Tehran.


    “Elias Davidsson along with 15 German intellectuals paid a 9-day visit to the Islamic Republic last month. During his stay in Iran, Elias Davidsson met Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad, lawmakers from religious minorities and leaders of 25,000-strong Iranian Jewish community. His impressions of the Islamic Republic were published in the International News Magazine on May 7, 2012. . . .

    I find it difficult to summarize my Iran impressions in the requisite compactness. A mere listing of our meetings, visits and lectures would not communicate the depth of these impressions. A couple of my co-travelers wrote an essay about their impression they entitled “The land of love”. That designation was prompted by the fact that the word “love” was repeatedly pronounced by those whom we met. They did not use that word in the commercial sense as abused by Western business nor in the hypocritical sense used by numerous christian preachers, but in relation to Iran’s policies. Who would dream that Western politicians would talk of God’s grace and the love of God to justify their worldly policies? Everywhere we went, we encountered friendliness, hospitality and thoughtfulness. Iranians are indeed known for their high regards for politeness and thoughtfulness.”

    END of Excerpt

  388. Rehmat says:

    Son of Holocaust survivors loves Iran

    German Jew Elias Davidsson along with 15 German intellectuals paid a 9-day visit to the Islamic Republic last month. During his stay in Iran, Elias Davidsson met Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad, lawmakers from religious minorities and leaders of 25,000-strong Iranian Jewish community. His impressions of the Islamic Republic were published in the International News Magazine on May 7, 2012.

    Davidsson rejects the existence of a Jewish state as incompatible with human rights norms.


  389. Neo says:


    No offence intended, but Cameron is just another British poodle to the US cause. Britain is really quite a lost soul in international affairs. Cameron will be a hawk when he is told to be one by his US masters. It’s been the British way since the Suez fiasco of the 1950s. I hope to see the UK as an independent country some day.

  390. Neo says:

    Cyrus_2 says:
    May 7, 2012 at 7:11 am

    “how could Obama force Netanyahu to call for early elections while the latter has the US president in his pocket?”

    It was the questioning of Netanyahu’s sanity by his own military and security forces that was Obama’s doing in my view, not the call for early elections. Obama tried to undermine Netanyahu, who in turn claimed he was calling an early election. In the end he was forced to enter into a new coalition in order to avoid having to run early elections. This new coalition, it is claimed by some, would slow down his madness because the Kadima party is said to be less crazy. We will have to wait and see.

    Either way, as mentioned before, I do not agree that the Israelis have the US president in their pocket. If anything, it’s the other way round. Israel is totally dependent on the US for its survival, as it is not a sustainable entity.

  391. Karl says:

    “William Hague was sincere in his wish to improve relations with Iran, and Syria, and Hamas, and Hezbollah. Obama too wanted to improve relations with Iran. But Dennis Ross said no.”

    No, not correct even before he was elected 2010 one could find quotes that runs counter to your argument. The only state that Hague have urged dialogue with is Syria some 4-5 years ago thats correct. But that wasnt a recognition of the current syrian foreign policy, but to break the ties with Hizbollah and Iran. In that case, one could say that Israel want to “improve relations” with Iran too.

  392. REALIST1 says:

    Media Watch | Former Regime Supporter: ‘We Have Murdered People’
    08 May 2012

    “To preserve power, we have committed so many crimes and we have lost so much.”

    [ close-up ] Mohammad Noorizad is a well-known Iranian journalist and documentary filmmaker. Born on December 10, 1953, in a village near Tehran, he received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. He also has an art degree that is said to be equivalent to a Ph.D. In 1980, he started making documentary films for Jahaad-e Saazandegi (Reconstruction Jihad). During the administration of Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), Noorizad, then writing for the hardline newspaper Kayhan, was one of the reformist president’s harshest critics and an ardent supporter of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. After the presidential election of June 2009, however, Noorizad joined the opposition. After writing several strongly critical public letters to the Supreme Leader, Noorizad was arrested on December 20, 2009. At the end of a show trial, he was sentenced to one year of prison for “propaganda against the political system and destroying its thirty-year image,” two years for insulting Khamenei, 91 days each for insulting judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and 50 lashes for insulting Mashhad Friday Prayer Imam Ahmad Elmolhoda. His family was told that he would be punished until “his thoughts are controlled.” Noorizad said that he was informed that he would be given a pardon if he wrote a letter to Khamenei pleading for one, which he refused to do.

    While in Evin Prison, on April 17, 2010, Noorizad was taken outside “to have some fresh air” and beaten savagely, resulting in a concussion and damage to his eyesight. He was held in solitary confinement for 70 days. After 190 days of incarceration, he was allowed to post bail and released. Noorizad called Evin a “second Kahrizak,” a reference to the notorious detention center on the southern edge of Tehran in which at least five young demonstrators were tortured to death in the aftermath of the 2009 election.

    Noorizad has recently produced a short film, We Have Murdered People. The movie begins with him saying,

    We must believe that we have failed the 33-year test of the Islamic Revolution and the implementation of the promises that we made to the people. This is a fact, albeit bitter. Our bankruptcy began quite sometime ago, as has the time for saying goodbye, goodbye to the Islamic justice that the Revolution promised. So long, human rights that the Revolution promised to the people of Iran and the world. So long, the fallen ideals of the Revolution. We have demonstrated that the religious people and the clerics can lie if they come to power, that they can turn their backs on all the promises that they made, that they can embrace the world[‘s materialism], despite once speaking against it in the past, that they can oppress, they can loot, they can murder people.

    Then Noorizad sings:

    We, in the name of love for the political system, murdered people and looted.

    He continues,

    We are the failed people in this 33-year-long test. When, in our Islamic system of government, girls become prostitutes at 12 or 13, I am embarrassed. Speaking about enriching uranium is not only not a [point of] national pride, it is idiotic. We lied, we lied, we deceived, we looted, we committed murder, we murdered people, murdered people, murdered people. We must accept our defeat. And to preserve the residual belief that the people may have in Islam we must accept that we [the ruling system] represent only one choice among other choices. We must believe in the people and recognize their various [ways of] thinking. We cannot just insist on our own beliefs and not see [recognize] the Sunnis, the Baha’is, our own communists. We have failed this test. If we still have the zeal to safeguard our religion, we must put ourselves alongside other schools of thought and political tendencies and become merely one among them. We cannot make decisions for others. We are not allowed to restrict other thoughts in the name of being Muslim. Just as we want open [political and social] space for ourselves, we must, according to the same religious teachings, provide the same for other teachings.

    He sings again:

    To preserve power, we have committed so many crimes and we have lost so much. To keep people uninformed, we have set up so many impediments, we have become tired breath. For our own survival, we have mixed ourselves with corruption, have spilled people’s blood. In the name of preserving Islam, we have committed murder and looting, and dishonored many.

    Staring into the camera, Noorizad then ends the movie by declaring,

    We lied, we lied, we lied, we looted, we murdered people, murdered people. We murdered people.

    Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2012/05/media-watch-former-regime-supporters-new-film-we-have-murdered-people.html#ixzz1uF7mTr2j

  393. Rehmat says:

    The Central Criminal Court of Iraq on Monday ruled that Ali Musa Daqduq, member of Lebanese Islamic Resistance, Hizbullah, be released from custody over lack of evidence.


  394. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Do you want us to believe that the Crypto-Jew Dennis Ross runs American empire? I have already replied to the rest of your rant – but modern Goebbels are not expected to be rational either.

  395. James Canning says:

    Philip Weiss asks: “Are Obama and Netanyahu now joined at the hip for election season?”


  396. James Canning says:


    Surely you are not expecting Iran to continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent.

    William Hague was sincere in his wish to improve relations with Iran, and Syria, and Hamas, and Hezbollah. Obama too wanted to improve relations with Iran. But Dennis Ross said no.

  397. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Israeli Air Force ready to fight war with Iran this summer if talks break down in Baghdad.


    The Israelis anticipate both operational losses and retaliation.

  398. Reza Esfandiari says:


    On the contrary, the Leveretts argued against a disastrous war in Iraq thanks to which 4500 Americans are dead, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as well. They did the honorable thing in not having anything to do with such a foolish adventure and quit office. Being patriotic does not have anything to do with being stupid.

    What this blog is about is avoiding another disastrous war which threatens to engulf the entire region in war and end the chance of rapprochement and normalization between Iran and the United States for another 30 years.

  399. A concerned world citizen says:

    William Hague came into office with an intention or hope of improving relations with Iran.

    Now, you and I know that’s a blatant LIE..From get-go he took it upon himself to champion America’s cause. Even top the detriment of your own country. Read a bit of the wikileaks cables to find out for yourself. How that guy still holds his post after all the revelation is beyond belief.

    Much of the “noise” was direct result of an Iranian blunder (trebling production of 20 [ercent uranium).

    James, you still keep rehashing and regurgitating the same 20% line.Please give it a rest – it died in 2010.Is Iran not permitted to enrich uranium to 20% under the NPT? Unless you don’t consider the NTP as important or simply don’t understand what NPT is all about. Does the UK seek permission from Iran before they do any enrichment or do they allow IAEA inspections for that matter?

    You keep bringing up the 20% issue without putting it in context. Iran applied to the IAEA to purchase 20% enriched uranium for the TRR. That deal was stupidly shot down by the usual suspects, of which your countries government was very much a part of.

    Look, the nuclear goal post have changed now and Iran isn’t interested in any deal/swap anymore. The only way for forward is to lift the sanction as a confidence building measure. Anything other than that is a sure road to war and the leader of Iran has already stated he’s ready to go to war. It’s mind boggling that your government thinks it’s good idea to keep the world’s most sensitive region tense and almost to the point of war. Maybe they’ve calculated they’ll be left unscathed in any confrontation. I really hope they have faith in that calculation.

    On relations with Iran, your government had it coming since the 2009 elections..Your ex-Tehran ambassador never missed a chance to interfere in Iran’s domestic affair – flouting all diplomatic norms.Don’t believe for a second that it had anything to do with some imaginary 20%. Why didn’t other European ambassadors leave if they thought the 20% was so important. Get real!

  400. James Canning says:


    William Hague came into office with an intention or hope of improving relations with Iran.

    Much of the “noise” was direct result of an Iranian blunder (trebling production of 20 [ercent uranium).

  401. A concerned world citizen says:

    William Hague recognises the merits of not being too noisy when one is trying to resolve an issue through diplomacy.

    James 20%, by that statement, are you implying William Hague only comes out to make all the noise he makes when he doesn’t recognize diplomacy or because he has nothing better to do? Just a few months ago, he’s been shilling for Netanyahoo and the warmongering clans in the EU and US – did he do that because he didn’t recognize the merits of diplomacy then or had nothing better to do? What has changed?

    How often do we here the foreign ministers of say, Japan, India, China, Brazil, South Africa etc make so much noise?

    His hubris has cost him England’s centuries long relationship with Iran being broken. This will have catastrophic consequence for England for decades to come. Unless you don’t consider that serious enough.

  402. Humanist says:

    Iran’s “Shargh” daily reports that the country is facing shortages of drugs for the treatment of 30 illnesses including cancer, heart and breathing problems, Thalassemia and multiple sclerosis (MS).


  403. Humanist says:

    As I saw Bert Stephens’s name in the title of this post I remembered a Farid Zakaria GPS program in it Hillary Mann Leverett, Vali Nasr, Houman Majd and Bret Stephens debated the current political issues related to Iran, West and Israel.

    That interesting program was the subject of a January 2012 RFI post here in RFI:


    In the following I list why in the debate Stephens’ was way out of line:

    He showed pleasure that Iranian people are suffering from the effects of AIPAC orchestrated sanctions as Majd had earlier described. (I accuse AIPAC as being the source since I believe M. J. Rosenberg who claims AIPAC authors anti-Iran bills and Congress rubber-stamps them, most times without any alteration).

    By showing pleasure Stephens demonstrated he has, like all other self-righteous indoctrinated warmongers, a psychopathic character not giving a damn about the sufferings of “other” people. He also implied he wished the implementation of yet tougher (and more crippling? more sadistic?) sanctions on the Iranian people.

    He repeated the big neocon lie that “Obama in the beginning of his term offered a friendly hand towards the Iranians but they rejected that conciliatory offer and instead took American hikers hostage, imprisoned Roxana Saberi etc. Hillary rebuffed that claim by saying Obama in fact was never serious. (Leveretts have mentioned in the past that the offer in question was a joke and has established a new mantle (new low standard?) for fake ‘international negotiations’).

    He reiterated the deceptive neocon notion that any kind of talk with Iran is (utterly) useless. This argument, especially in present age of superiority of scientific themes over archaic thoughts sounds totally absurd since science convincingly proves, if both sides are rational and fair, for every international conflict there exists a peaceful solution that benefit all.

    He attacks Iran because it supports the ‘terrorists’ who in fact are just fighting the Israeli occupations and as a consequence, in their struggle are desperately using all possible means where some of the means although are morally unacceptable are no worse than the Israeli atrocities.

    You go someplace and throw its inhabitants out of their homes, subject them to heinous treatments and then if they resist by throwing rocks at you bloodying your nose you brand them as terrorists? What an amazing logic. It sounds like an overly arrogant and schizophrenic accusation.

    He says because Israeli leadership sees Iranian ‘threat’ like no other thus war with Iran is highly likely. It is not hard to prove that warmongering members of current Israeli leadership have twisted minds and if rationality prevails war with Iran is absolutely unjustifiable.

    For the sake of brevity I skip couple of other fallacies stated by Bert Stephens.

    However in my view Leveretts could’ve ignored this character and used their energy where it is so badly needed. Some of Likudniks are deceptive yet smart, this person however seems to really believe in the neocon lies.

    Regardless he is in the group of blood-thirsty, destructive and remorseless neocons who are almost always wrong while Leveretts, so far, have been almost always right.

    In my view he is in the group of despicable people who are not only the worst enemy of our humanity but are the most effective enemy of Israel itself.

  404. Karl says:

    Hollande Victory in France Lessens Likelihood of War with Iran

    Personally I think its too late to turn back the clock, but hopefully France will take a more rational role.

  405. James Canning says:


    William Hague recognises the merits of not being too noisy when one is trying to resolve an issue through diplomacy.

  406. James Canning says:


    David Cameron is not a “hawk”. He came into office with a healthy scepticism about the entire neocon programme of endless war in the Middle East.

  407. fyi says:

    Kirsten H. says: May 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Yes, I largely agree with Mr. Ayad.

  408. Kirsten H. says:

    What Iran Really Thinks

    Shayan Arkian and Mahmoud Ayad argue to dispel notions of pure idealism, religiosity, and military/nuclear ambitions in Iran.


  409. Fiorangela says:

    definitions of rational:

    in Italian, ragione, pl. ragioni, di esistenza della norma, ovvero il fine cui la norma tende, = Of the existence of the rule, i.e. the end to which the norm tends.

    OED: ratio ety. L., stem of riri to think.
    1. reason, rationale
    2. Math the relation between two similar magnitudes in respect of quantity, determined by the number of times one contains the other.

    OED: rational Having the faculty of reasoning; endowed with reason.

    OED: reason III. 10 That intellectual power or faculty (usually regarded as characteristic of mankind, but sometimes also attributed in a certain degree to the lower animals) which is ordinarily employed in adapting thought or action to some end; the guiding principle of the human mind in the process of thinking.

    Benjamin Netanyahu stated in comments before a U.S. Congressional panel that he is “a Kantian,” so the Kantian perspective on “reason” is offered:

    OED: In the Kantian Transcendental philosophy, the power (Vernunft) by which first principles are grasped a priori, as distinguished from UNDERSTANDING (Verstand).

    finally, completing the arc from the Italian, ‘end to which the norm tends,’ to the mathematical, ‘relationship between similar magnitudes determined by the number of times one contains the other,’ to ‘the guiding principle of the human mind in the process of thinking,’ OED encompasses “rational” to mean:

    OED: III. 11: the ordinary thinking faculty of the human mind in a sound condition.

    Pay attention to the word choices — the factors or elements of rationalization –used in the Commentary article (quoted below, May 7, 2012 at 10:47 am):

    “For all of the hysterical criticism being aimed at Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for their supposed messianism about dealing with Iran, they have actually gone about their business on this issue in a rational manner. By making it clear to the world that Israel would not allow the Islamist regime to pose an existential threat to its existence, [sic] they have forced Obama to ratchet up his own rhetoric and to foreswear any policy of “containing” a nuclear Iran. They have also managed to pressure the European Union to threaten an oil embargo of Iran that would have been unimaginable without their fear that an Israeli attack would overturn the entire Middle East chessboard.”

    hysterical criticism
    Israel would not allow
    existential threat to its existence (!)
    ratchet up
    foreswear any policy of “containing”
    Israeli attack

    If rationality is “the end to which the norm tends,” how is it “rational” to have used “force,” “pressure,” “threats,” “fear” to move others to move toward “unimaginable” harm to their own interests and away from“the existence of the rule” by which the “human mind in a sound condition” conducts its affairs, all in order to avert an “Israeli attack”?

    = = =
    OED: Solipsism. The view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing really existent.

  410. Fiorangela says:

    Commentary weighs in on Israel elections and Iran



    “On Friday, a commentator on Israel’s Channel 2 said aloud what others had been whispering in recent days. The Times of Israel reports that commentator Amnon Abramovich claimed today’s announcement that new Israeli elections will be scheduled for September 4 may set in motion a chain of events that could lead to an Israeli attack on Iran sometime between that date and the U.S. presidential election in November. The scenario makes sense on the surface in that if, as expected, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wins an easy victory in September, he theoretically would have two months to strike Iran while President Obama was campaigning for re-election and therefore unlikely to condemn or punish Israel for ignoring his wishes about the use of force to fend off Tehran’s nuclear threat.

    That isn’t likely to happen for a number of reasons, but the mere fact that it might is a positive development. As much as there is good reason to doubt that even under such seemingly favorable circumstances Israel would attack Iran on its own, the election announcement will have the salubrious effect of concentrating the minds of President Obama and his shaky allies in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran. The only reason the West has stepped up its previously weak sanctions on Iran that led to the current lackluster negotiations is that they believed Israel would act unless they started behaving as if they cared about the problem. As most informed observers have noted, the chances of the talks achieving anything that would actually lessen the danger are slim. But if the Iranians as well as Obama and his partners think Israel will strike in the fall that could put tremendous pressure on both sides to do more than diplomatic game playing.

    For all of the hysterical criticism being aimed at Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for their supposed messianism about dealing with Iran, they have actually gone about their business on this issue in a rational manner. By making it clear to the world that Israel would not allow the Islamist regime to pose an existential threat to its existence, they have forced Obama to ratchet up his own rhetoric and to foreswear any policy of “containing” a nuclear Iran. They have also managed to pressure the European Union to threaten an oil embargo of Iran that would have been unimaginable without their fear that an Israeli attack would overturn the entire Middle East chessboard.”

    End of excerpt

    Does the word rational mean the same thing in every use of the word, as in, rational numbers are rational numbers for Christians, for Asians, for Canadians, for children, for octogenarians; or is rational defined according to ones political agenda?

  411. A concerned world citizen says:

    Off topic..Seems William the Hague has gone really quite lately.Could it be due to the massive beating his party took in the recent local elections? Sometimes, these guys forget they’re only human and they’re in their position because the people have allow them to – not because they’re better than anyone else. See, what these air-heads in Europe and Washington fail to realize is that, foreign policy successes/failures done mean a damn thing for the common man who can’t afford food or pay bills.

    What’s the point in winning expensive wars in distant lands when the common man can’t afford the basics of life and all they get is austerity?

    Sarkozy’s “war of liberation” of the Libyans had absolutely ZERO effect on his domestic audience and rather cost him his job. I see a similar trend in the UK if Cameron doesn’t back up in his policies and focus on home. Even Obama has called for a timeout on warmongering vis-a-vis Iran, leaving Netanyahoo out in the cold. It’s election year and people care more about bread and butter issues – not how many more wars need to be fought and how much the common man needs to pay to make that happen.

  412. A concerned world citizen says:


  413. Rehmat says:

    Sarkozy hits the bucket: ‘Iran wins?’

    Ramin Mehmanparast, spokesman for Iranian foreign ministry stated the he hopes Paris would review its anti-Iran policy in future.

    “The defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election shows the French government’s wrong policy. Iran now hopes that Francois Hollande administration would take a positive position in its foreign policy,” said Ramin.

    Sarkozy who spearheaded the four UNSC ’crippling sanctions’ against Iran – always supported Israel’s military actions against its Arab neighbors. He warned Tehran on several occasions against country’s nuclear program and threatened Iran with military actions. However, he had cautioned Israeli leaders to stay cool and don’t try to attack Iran alone.


  414. BiBiJon says:

    Cyrus_2 says:
    May 7, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Calling for early elections primarily is Netanyahu’s gambit at keeping the ‘Iran’ question in the media.

    I agree with Dan Murphy that:

    “With Israeli elections now looking set for early September, and already being framed by the Israeli press as a referendum on the hawkish Iran policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, expect a flood of statements, arguments and analysis on this issue in the months ahead.”

    The P5+1 negotiations process (not progress) risks moving alarmist Iran stories off the front pages over the next few months, allowing Obama to claim success at ‘defanging’ Iran through tough diplomacy — a foreign policy success, if you will. I believe Netanyahu is more interested in unseating Obama than he is in getting reelected himself. He is desperate to keep the Iran issue alive during the crucial next few months to derail the negotiations.

  415. Fiorangela says:

    great photo.
    The body language speaks volumes. Andrew Card presents the image of a stand-up guy who sought to do his duty honestly. Condi’s hands were crossed the opposite direction from Card, body tilted opposite from Leverett; Leverett’s arms crossed over his chest suggest he takes in information through his intellect, not his gut.

  416. Empty says:

    1. *Smile* at the choice of the photograph. It reinforces the gist of the title.

    2. Mit Romney’s C.R. choice as running mate, while it might lead to a few more votes, it will not be able to unseat Obama. In a capitalist system, capital (in this case $) defines relationships and predicts outcomes. To date, the ratio of Obama to Romney money raised is 2.2:1 ($191,671,860 to $86,631,381 respectively). It would be safe (at this time) to assume that neither C. Rice nor B. Stephens would be among the notables and quotables of the US foreign policy.

    3. In an information age (which 21st century most decidedly is), the words of those who insist on consistently telling the truth and to the best of their ability don’t waiver in political ebbs and flows are the words to which people end up referring.

  417. An Iranian View says:

    Flynt and Hillary Leverett shine like stars in the sad and corrupt world of American politics.

  418. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ Neo

    Thanks for your response.

    But how could Obama force Netanyahu to call for early elections while the latter has the US president in his pocket?
    I think Netanyahu is quite happy with early elections because opinion polls predict a victory for Likud (and the party of that other nutcase, Lieberman).

  419. Neo says:


    I think Netanhayu was forced into this position through US machinations, which in turn was implemented through the US military’s strong links with the Israeli military. Both the military chief and the ex-head of Mossad recently spoke in defence of Iran’s rationality and against Netanyahu’s fundamentalist madness.

    I think this was Obama’s doing in retaliation for Israeli schemes against him. It has undermined Netanhayu so much that he was forced to call early elections. His position seems strong in the domestic opinion polls, but this will push the country more into an extreme corner, while their military will simply refuse to follow any instruction from Netanhayu to attack Iran.

    Who knows! An Israeli regime change may not be far off.

  420. Neo says:

    ToivoS says:
    May 7, 2012 at 5:32 am

    “does Israel control events to the extent of starting another war that involves the US?”

    No it doesn’t in my opinion. Despite the pessimism expressed here often on that relation, I remain of the view that Israel is no more than a pawn of the US.

  421. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ all

    What do you think of the early elections in Israel on the 4th of september?

    Some say this will give Netanyahu a free hand for a military strike on Iran in September-October, as Obama, as everyone expects, wouldn’t dare to criticize Israel on the eve of his own re-election bid.

    Personally, I don’t believe the official reasons for the early elections, namely a dispute between the religious and secular parties on military conscription for the ultra-orthodox jews.

    Or is this another Bibi move to arm-twist Obama once again into adopting even more stringent anti-Iran sanctions?

  422. ToivoS says:

    “Neo says:
    May 7, 2012 at 4:58 am
    Looks like the hawks are losing on several fronts, except in Israel.”

    It does look that way. But Israel remains the big wild card. They still have the power to suck the US into another war. I remain optimistic that the Obama can lead us towards peace with the Iranians and divert Israel from leading us into war. The results of these European elections do seem positive.

    Still, does Israel control events to the extent of starting another war that involves the US?

  423. Neo says:

    Looks like the hawks are losing on several fronts, except in Israel. France has turned to the left, as has Greece. Cameron is in deep trouble, and Romney has no real chance of beating Obama. Europe will have to move to the left or lose the Euro.

    One of the few places where popular support for right-wing extremism is significantly on the rise appears to be Israel, which should drive the rogue country further toward global irrelevance.

    Iran’s negotiating position continues to strengthen.

  424. Castellio says:

    ToivoS… my preference is to reaffirm that the Leveretts are invited onto those international programs where an informed American speaker is required.

    If it weren’t for the internet, the ability of Americans to get real news from its most watched (or most read) news services would be on a par with the age of Brezhnev in the Soviet Union. Pravda.

  425. Castellio says:

    UU, I agree that Sa**an and Re**ist are one and the same: the pretence of being the naive native Iranian student has finally been dropped, but the bitter bile remains.

  426. Unknown Unknowns says:


    Good job on banning that insufferable troll, Sasan. If you have any doubts that “Realist 1” is the reincarnation of the same troll, allow me to put your doubts to rest: go ahead and exclude that ISP number too.

  427. ToivoS says:

    This the dilemma for any realist in foreign policy. I remember when people who advocated that the US should recognize Red China were shouted down by the right wing demagogues as commie symps. Same with those who called for the recognition of the Soviet Union in the 20s and early 30s. We hear the same hysterical ravings when it is suggested that the US should recognize Hamas as a significant factor in dealing with the Palestinians.

    When foreign policy becomes entangled with impassioned local politics it is very difficult to carry out a rational foreign policy. Besides Iran and Hamas we today have a completely nonsensical policy towards Cuba for the same reasons. This was one thing that I noted that George Kennan (from reading his memoirs) railed against continuously. I suspect that it was his inability to deal with the national political end of this dilemma that limited his government service. Seems like the Leveretts are being side lined for the same reasons.

  428. Rehmat says:

    The US first Black secretary of state, Dr. Conoleeza Rice 56, is being discussed by GOP to take-on Obama’s possible running-mate Hillary Clinton in November 2012 election. Her selection would certainly mute the long-held views that most Republican leaders being Christian fanatics – are racists toward Blacks and religious bigots against women.


  429. Rehmat says:

    “The very name Jesus was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted, let alone taught, even in modern Israeli Jewish schools,” wrote late professor Israel Shahak.


  430. James Canning says:


    Somre historians think Harriet Beecher Stowe caused the US Civil War. Obviously not sole cause, but she certainly whipped up emotions and made negotiated resolution of the problem much more difficult.

  431. James Canning says:


    If Romeny gets into the White House, the neocon warmongers will have a field day. (Great time.)

  432. James Canning says:


    Dennis Ross continues to serve Obama as a primary adviser on Iran. But Ross does this from his offices at Winep. By the way, has it been established that the Osirak reactor was not for the purpose of setting up an Iraqi nuclear weapons programme? Comments welcome.

  433. James Canning says:

    Condi Rice admitted to The Times of London that she did not notice anything wrong about George W. Bush’s branding Iran a member of the “Axis of Evil”, in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address. This alone is amply evidence that she was simply not qualified for the job.

  434. James Canning says:

    I very much agree that Condoleezza Rice was a very poor National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State. And not for the reasons given by Bret Stephens.

  435. yemi says:

    REALIST1 says:
    May 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    If the Leverett’s are truly the friends of pure evil. In actual fact you are devil itself!

    Because you have not truly define what evilness is, in this case.

    You must be a devil sent devil!

  436. Karl says:

    Pathetic people, but after all this are a classic ad hominem. Just prove Leverett’s are correct in their analysis and since stephens knows this and therefore cant counter Leverett’s anlysis he simple adhere to personal insults.

    And its a standard practice…

    If you were against the Vietnam war, you were a communist.
    If you are against israeli war crimes, you are antisemite or a terrorist.
    If you are against afghanistan/iraqi war, you are self-hating american, a non-patriot, terrorloving bin laden supporter.

    Dennis ross try to drag his own nation into antother war again, however with his own nation, I am not sure if its America or Israel.

  437. REALIST1 says:

    Simply remember the fact that the Leverett’s are such scum that they resort to getting their “facts” from regime talking heads and goons such as their beloved “Professor Mirandi”.

    The Leverett’s are truly the friends of pure evil.

  438. Castellio says:

    When the international community seeks to hear the opinions of those in America who, having genuine American interests at heart are not delusional in their understanding of the causes of the violence in the Middle East, they turn to the Leveretts.

    It is precisely for this lack of deluded apologetics that they are attacked by Bret Stephens and others who, clearly, do not represent America’s own best interests.

  439. Pirouz says:

    There are times where I’ve thought where does Condi (or Clarence) get her rightwing, hawk perspective? I haven’t the time to read a recently published biography on her but I suspect she lived a sheltered childlife, raised by educators. She bought into all the propaganda we were taught during the cold war, through textbooks, films and the like.

    I suppose I might have bought into all that, too, had I not toured Soviet republics while they were economically viable, or seen the military dictatorship in Turkey, or lived for a year in the U.S. imposed dictatorship that was Iran in the mid-70s. For that matter, I’d bet Bret lacks the benefit of such a perspective.

    In addition to this, on my mother’s side, coming from a relatively poor Native American background, and with poor people traditionally making up the ranks of military personnel in this country, especially conscripts, I bet both Bret and Condi don’t have dozens of family members and extended family members that have combat experience in America’s foreign wars, or have three Purple Hearts in the family, one posthumous. Or that they’ve stayed up late in the night, talking down a family member with PTSD, in what turned out to be a terminal injury inflicted during the Vietnam war.

    But hey, for empty suits such as these, there’s a gravy train to enjoy. And while they slurp up the gravy, people die or become refugees in parts of the developing world, all in the pursuit of sustained global hegemony.

    Malcolm X was right about people like Condi and Clarence. They are quintessential examples of the “house negro”. How different from Rep. Maxine Waters, our congressperson from California, who is a genuine human, being with a mind of her own and the people’s interest at heart.

  440. Photi says:

    Another brilliant analysis by the Leveretts. Lying takes so much energy, here’s to hoping the neocons run out of steam.

  441. Fiorangela says:

    Drs. Flynt & Hillary Leverett:

    “we would note that Stephens’ line of attack is symptomatic of America’s intellectually bankrupt foreign policy debate. When neoconservatives like Stephens (or their fellow travelers like Dennis Ross) want to criticize our work on Iran, Syria, or other high-profile Middle East issues, they don’t challenge us on the merits of our analysis—because they can’t. Instead, they go after us for being “apologists” for some Middle Eastern leader that they have already caricatured as despicable (therefore making it impossible for the United States to have anything but a neoconservative foreign policy toward that leader’s country).”

    This phenomenon had been very troubling to me for quite some time. The antidote to it is to continue to think, speak, and write as objectively as possible.

    Tom Paine’s writing inspired the United States Revolution

    Harriet Beecher Stowe’s writing brought to a head simmering issues that eventuated in the U S Civil War, and a path toward resolution of those issues.

    Flynt and Hillary Leverett are two among a small but principled set of truth-tellers who ARE the vanguard on the path to resolving the U.S. foreign policy quagmire.

    Truth telling is always the position of the few, not the many.

  442. REALIST1 says:

    Flynt and Hillary are two of the most evil individuals around who are indeed not only apologists of the terrorist Mullahs and the likes of Bashar al-Assad but are in fact their cheerleaders. They are so that they are almost treasonous.

    They are truly scum.